Departmental store chain Lifestyle International is freezing expansion of standalone exclusive outlets for its private labels and franchised brands as it has decided to instead sell these brands through ecommerce sites and online marketplaces apart from the Lifestyle stores, said senior vice president (marketing) Srinivasa Rao.
Lifestyle has shut down 12-odd standalone Bossini stores which is a Hong Kong-based franchised brand in the casual wear segment, and will not expand any further the 12 exclusive outlets it has for its in-house brand Melange which is in Indian and fusion wear space.
Rao said Lifestyle has decided to freeze expansion of exclusive brand outlets since those require lot more focus and distribution capabilities, are run differently unlike a departmental stores, and can survive only in malls where it already runs Lifestyle outlets leading to duplicity of effort.
“Instead, we will sell them through ecommerce sites like our own, Myntra and Jabong. We may even tap Amazon and Flipkart for selling them. In fact, we have decided not to sign any more franchisee agreements with foreign brands since the focus will be on existing portfolio and expansion of Lifestyle stores,” Rao said.
Lifestyle, part of Dubai-based retail and hospitality conglomerate The Landmark Group, has franchisee agreements with four global brands — Bossini, Kappa, UCLA and Smiley. It has a portfolio seven private brands of which Melange is the largest. Around 30% of sales of Lifestyle is from its private brands which is one the highest in the industry.