Delhi’s Select Citywalk mall will soon launch its online storefront through an e-commerce marketplace model, says a report (via).
Citywalk is one in a series of offline players who are looking to hedge their business by starting an e-commerce business.
“Through the mall we have seen the dynamics of the retail business in India and are better equipped to deal with online retail,” says Arjun Sharma, Director and Promoter of Select Citywalk.
Citywalk’s online pricing will be the same as those available in its offline avatar.
Online retail businesses usually sell at marginal discounts to prices offline thanks to the lower overhead costs.
Citywalk will not shut its brick-and-mortar business which will be its mainstay said the company. It is currently deliberating the online move with inputs from Technopak Advisors. The company will be launching through an e-commerce marketplace model and is mulling whether they should also bring on board retailers who are not tenants at the mall.
Citywalk’s e-commerce site is set to launch in 3 months, and the site will take commission on actual sales by retailers (who are the mall’s tenants) on their site. Sharma expects 3-5% of total sales to be generated from their online business in the first few years.
With urban shoppers getting more and more comfortable buying online, malls seem to be losing their charm.
The hybrid model or the offline-online convergence is seeing an increasing interest in India. While offline retailers feel the pressure from online players, others like a startup called ShopSense are building technology to bring the online experience to the offline markets.
Online players too are taking the offline channel seriously with multiple companies opening up offline stores saying that hybrid or omni-channel is the future.
Bangalore based Healthkart opened its fourth offline store in Bangalore last year. Pune based Firstcry is looking to up its offline store base to 50 to reach a total of 100 offline stores. Eyewear company Lenskart too has opened up kiosks in malls across the Delhi and NCR regions.