Brick and mortar retail has bounced back in India with sales reaching pre-COVID numbers few months ago. This was revealed at the recent Retail Leadership Summit 2021, organized by the Retailers Association of India, lingerie retailer Zivame and fashion watch brand Fossil.
Zivame with Reliance Brands as one of its owners, added about 24 new stores in the last four months and plans to double the number this year. By the end of next year, brand aims to add 150 stores besides expanding through other formats as well. The ten-year-old company sells lingerie, beach wear, active wear and accessories for women.
Fossil, whose majority business comes from the offline stores, also banked on ecommerce to drive sales of its watches. The brand accelerated WhatsApp selling, video selling and home delivery of watches.
While ecommerce surged amid the pandemic, consumer-facing companies note it is omnichannel with seamless online and offline shopping experience that will be part and parcel of future retail.
Expansion of store network will be back on track in 2021 for the country's largest retail chains such as Reliance Retail, Lifestyle, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, Arvind Fashions, Spencer's Retail, Nature's Basket and Puma. These retail chains plan to open as many new stores in 2021 as per original plans after expansion took a hit in 2020 due to lockdown and had severe impact on sales. Industry experts attribute store expansion drive in 2021 to business recovering faster than initially expected and COVID-19 vaccination drive.