Nykaa plans to expand physical stores

Five years after the website went live, Falguni Nayyar’s Nykaa will be seen expanding its presence in brick-and-mortar retail. Already at 11 stores, Nykaa intends to reach 30 physical stores across the country by 2020. 

“When we started, the vision was always to be synonymous with beauty and it wasn’t attached to a channel per se. We started with e-commerce but it (our strategy) always included plans for offline stores. About a year and half ago, we started to think it was the right time for setting up stores,” says Adwaita Nayyar, head of retail at Nykaa.

The firm’s objective behind a robust bet on physical retail is to be an omni-channel destination for the beauty and skincare segment. The online portal currently houses 80,000 products across 700 brands. “Today’s customer is a 100 per cent omni-channel customer. They want the convenience of being able to shop whichever way it is most convenient, whether that is on mobile or social media or at a store,” Nayyar said. 

She added that the confidence to go brick-and-mortar came from consumers’ feedback on their portal. “We talk to our customers a lot, and they were asking for it. They wanted to interact with the brand. Women are demanding these products,” she said. Another reason to expand offline would be because 80 per cent of beauty and skincare retail is still through physical stores.

Nykaa’s physical presence would be through two retail formats — Nykaa Luxe and On Trends. The former would cater to the high-end segment where customers can try and buy premium products. 

The second format would be more dynamic. It would largely be data-driven. It would take the bestselling brands from the app/portal, and make them available offline. Trained beauty experts would be present at the store to offer recommendations and makeovers. The store would also allow customers to browse online reviews. 

“Luxe is a 1,000-sq ft property and has prestige luxury brands. Also, the merchandise is more permanent. On Trends is a 350-500 sq ft property and it’s not brand centric. It’s category-led and trend-driven. However, we are driving the experience-driven model in both stores where you get free makeovers and try out new products. While there is a limit to the number of Luxe stores you can open, you can really scale On Trends. Also On Trends has a good mix of price points and is more affordable. Luxe will stay more of a metro play and we know the 10 cities where we want to take it,” Nayyar said. 

“I have been incredibly obsessed by this brand called Glossier which has offers a similar physical engagement to consumers. In retail there has to something to attract customers beyond the products to your stores. I like brands that engage customers while building the brand in an interesting way.”

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