Online retailed of fashion products and apparel, Myntra, has decided to expand its physical stores from an existing 12 stores to over 200 stores, in the coming two years. This move is seen as a bid to increase the brand recognition of the company’s other peripheral offerings, such as Roadster, and while it may be seen as somewhat counter-intuitive for a predominantly online business to pursue such a strategy, the company claims that having a physical presence can further enhance its ability to deliver online sales orders to customers, while helping build the brand recognition that the company is currently seeking to enhance.
Other online retailers have been adopting a similar strategy, ranging from baby products retailers like Firstcry, and online furniture stores, Urban Ladder and Pepperfry by maintaining a brick-and-mortar presence. Once a topic of debate when online shopping was still more a novelty phenomenon than a viable preference for shopping, it was argued that physical stores would eventually give way to the ease and convenience of customers being able to peruse entire collections from the convenience of their computers when visiting a website. However, in the last couple of decades, online retailers have continued to maintain a brick-and-mortar experience for shoppers, understanding this to be a need for those customers who have a preference for engaging tangibly with the brand and its offerings, enhancing the physical shopping experience to include the latest technological advancements.
Speaking during an interview regarding this announcement, Myntra CEO Anand Narayanan added that offline sales, even following the establishment of the 200th store, would constitute approximately only 5% of the company’s estimated sales.