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We are bullish on our private label strategy: Adwaita Nayar

In an interview, Adwaita Nayar, co-founder, Nykaa, and founder and chief executive, Nykaa Fashion, spoke about her plans to bring in the best fashion brands to India and scale its own private labels.

Within the next few weeks, Nykaa Fashion, which is owned by FSN E-commerce Ventures Ltd, is set to add new western wear brands to its portfolio of ethnic and western apparel for both men and women. Nykaa Fashion contributed 25% to FSN E-commerce Ventures consolidated gross merchandise value in FY22, up from 16% in FY21. In an interview, Adwaita Nayar, co-founder, Nykaa, and founder and chief executive, Nykaa Fashion, spoke about her plans to bring in the best fashion brands to India and scale its own private labels. Edited excerpts:

How is Nykaa Fashion preparing for the upcoming festive season?

We have got a bunch of interesting launches. We have a property on our website, called Global Store, where we have really interesting brands from Turkey and the UK. Some from Southeast Asia are also about to come in. So some of these new launches are going to be really important for us. We have a very strong Indian wear collection—we have created something called Hidden Gems, a curation of homegrown Indian wear. In the festival season I’m definitely seeing our Hidden Gems collection creating a lot of buzz.

Did you launch international brands as shoppers could not travel during the pandemic, or is there long-term demand for the products?

It is definitely a long-term potential. If people had access to products easily in the country, then this trend of having to travel abroad to shop wouldn’t be required. It is quite unfortunate that for so long India did not have the right brands. So it’s all part of this shift of bringing the right product to the Indian consumer. Even if you look at beauty or fashion products one of our big strategies has always been about bringing the world’s best brands to India. There’s a pretty significant market that is interested in this segment.

Both in beauty and fashion we have seen premium consumption happening in tier one as well as tier two cities. Often, tier-2 cities have a lot of pent up demand for these products.

Are you scaling up private labels?

We have 11 private labels. The strategy is not to treat them like private labels, but as brands in their own right. A lot of our private labels don’t have the word Nykaa and have their own life. So, they will sell on other platforms, in stores, and may have their own stores. We are very bullish on our private label strategy. It’s already in double digits in terms of share of the (fashion) business.

Is offline apparel retail a big focus?

We do believe in offline. Even on the beauty side we have over 100 stores. It’s yet to be seen how many stores and what formats (work for apparel). While it is too early to say, I don’t imagine us having that many stores (in fashion) as we have in beauty. This is a year for pilots and we are going to open a couple of stores across the country and see how they work. We are also trying a couple of different formats.

Any gap you would like to plug in the fashion portfolio?

One category I really want to focus on is Global Store…global brands. It has saw huge push in the past year, and in a couple of weeks will have more brands. A year ago, we launched a men’s collection. The assortment is pretty meaningful in kids and home, but more will be on-boarded.

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