Levi’s to upgrade stores even as online sales triple
New Delhi: Clothing retailer Levi’s is upgrading some of its existing stores, swapping old ones for stores in better locations, in some cases near brands like Zara and Diesel, to attract more attention to younger shoppers. buy fewer but higher quality products.
“The sales density and the size of our branches will increase, with the focus being on the acquisition of better locations. We do this in more than 100 branches. During 2021, consumers will see a new network of modernized stores, “said Sanjeev Mohanty, general manager for South Asia, Middle East and North Africa at Levi Strauss & Co.,.
“Since we were profitable even during the pandemic, we were able to find the best locations on the market. In the Ambience Mall in Gurugram, for example, there were two of our small shops on two floors that did not create the highest quality image or did not do justice to the brand’s performance. We’re closing one of these stores and opening a new and bigger store on the ground floor, in the same prime gallery as the Zara and Diesel brands. Similarly, we moved to a better location with better rent, facade and size in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad last November, “he said. In India, Levi’s has 450 exclusive stores, aside from sales through marketplaces.
India’s clothing retailers faced a stormy year after apparel sales fell sharply after the lockdown as retailers had unsold inventory. For the full year, apparel retailers are expected to see a 40-45% decline in sales, according to India Ratings and Research estimates from November.
In addition, as the unlock progressed, consumers tended to move towards more home and comfort clothing. Levi Strauss (India) Pvt. Ltd reported a modest 1.6% increase in total income £1,122 crore for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020 according to financial data accessed by the Tofler business intelligence platform. Levi’s reports sales as wholesale sales to franchises. The company’s net income fell 43% £28 crore due to tax expense from previous years. In the early days of covid cases emerging in India, the retailer suffered from significant inventory build-ups, its records for the year said.
In India, Mohanty said, business in its brick and mortar stores has returned to between 75% and 100% of normalcy.
India’s smaller cities, benefiting from migration back, led the recovery. Shopping malls and malls remain the biggest stragglers for most clothing retailers. “For example, the level 2, 3 and 4 of the city’s shops returned to the level before the 2019 pandemic at the earliest. However, malls and subway malls are the slowest to return to pre-Covid levels and have the largest void, “he said.
The proportion of online sales through marketplaces and having a website also helped offset poor sales in top-notch shopping malls. “With consumers moving online, our e-commerce saw tremendous growth, especially from September through to Diwali. The contribution of e-commerce has almost tripled compared to the pre-Covid level. The contribution to e-commerce will double at the beginning of 2021, and it should remain constant in the future. “
According to Mohanty, online marketplaces are central to the retailer’s growth strategy directly with the consumer. As a result, it now offers more variety to online buyers. “The pandemic has accelerated our integration into top marketplaces. We are now able to offer a wider range of products to our e-commerce consumers, “he said. The Retai will continue to deeply integrate and scale its market reach, which means more exclusive ranges for online buyers.
“Most of the business is still being driven by physical deals, however,” he said, adding that the overall growth trajectory looks “positive”.
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