Lifestyle International to start its own e-commerce site


Lifestyle International, which operates Lifestyle, Max and Home Centre retail chains, will make a foray into e-commerce next year through a separate company, a top official said. The retail major owned by Dubai-based NRI businessman Micky Jagtiani has identified e-commerce as its next big thrust area, having emerged as a major and profitable player in the brick-and mortal retail space in India, said Kabir Lumba, managing director at Lifestyle International. 

“E-commerce will become an extension of our physical stores and will be an attempt to be near the consumer. It will be extended to mobile commerce too,” Lumba said. “All of these will be through a separate company which will be equity funded.” He said the company has formed a team to finalise the online plans and it’s getting support from Jagtiani’s Dubai retail venture that forayed into e-commerce two years back. 

Lifestyle plans to set up dedicated online store for its three formats — the eponymous departmental store, value-fashion format Max, and home decor and furniture format Home Centre. 

It is also evaluating options of acquiring an e-commerce firm and partnering large online marketplaces Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, Lumba said. “However, we do not want our e-commerce venture to operate on the discounting model,” he said, adding that it would focus on the consumer convenience it would offer. “We do not want any conflict of interest regarding pricing with our physical stores and brands.” 

At present, Lifestyle sells few of its private fashion labels through online stores such as Jabong and Myntra, while Max last month set up its virtual store on Flipkart. However, revenue contribution from these moves is still negligible. 

The retailer operates 43 Lifestyle stores, 110 Max stores and 18 Home Centre outlets across the country , and its revenues touched Rs 3,700 crore last fiscal. 

Lumba said the company is growing sales at 25% a year, with same-store sales growth being 20% in some stores. The firm is in line to notch Rs 4,700-crore revenue this fiscal and become a $1 billion (approximately Rs 6,200 crore) operation in 2015-16, he said. He said all the stores are profitable.

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