Riding on Walmart, Myntra private label headed for global high street

Online fashion portal Myntra is looking to expand globally by piggybacking on Walmart after the US retail giant became the single-largest stakeholder in its parent Flipkart with a $16-billion investment this May.

While Myntra isn’t looking to take its e-commerce service outside the country, the company is planning to sell its private label products in Walmart stores overseas. 

Ananth Narayanan, chief executive officer of Myntra-Jabong, said the company was looking to target markets where there were large pockets of Indians.

“The conversations (between Myntra and Walmart) have started. Those are around finding areas where we can accelerate together — whether it’s going global with Myntra or them taking our learnings from the omnichannel and supply chain,” Narayanan said. While Myntra wants to take its largest brands such as Roadster overseas, it is looking at celebrity-backed brands, possibly banking on the huge fan base of Bollywood actors in markets outside India. Some of those brands include HRX, which is endorsed by Hrithik Roshan, and Deepika Padukone’s All About You. Currently Myntra has 14 private brands, varying in size from among the bestselling brand on its platform to relatively small ones. As a whole, the company’s private label business drives 25 per cent of its revenues from its in-house brands and expects the number to grow to 30 per cent by the next fiscal year.

Narayanan said his goal was to make Myntra a global brand in the next three years, though he did not divulge how soon the firm’s apparel could make its way to Walmart’s stores in the US and beyond. He’s looking at exporting in-house technology, which uses artificial intelligence to come up with designs for apparel. 

“Even if we don’t take Myntra as a business to other places, we can take parts of our business global. This will happen over three years, and it’s not just our private brands but also things like Rapid, which are universally applicable,” added Narayanan.  

Apart from helping take Myntra global, Walmart will become instrumental in the fashion portal cutting better deals with global brands. Myntra and the India market as a whole make up a very small percentage of sales for several large global brands. But with the backing of Walmart, the Indian firm could leverage the retail giant’s global sourcing prowess.

Myntra has tied up with global brands such as Mango and Esprit to pick up licences as their master franchise partners for all of India. This has accelerated Myntra’s foray into offline stores as it will manage both the online as well as offline presence of these brands in the country.

Eleven Mango stores have been set up in the country through this partnership, while the first offline Esprit stores will be doing business in the next two months. Apart from these partnerships, Myntra sells apparel and accessories of nearly 80 global brands, which, it says, give it the largest spread of global fashion for customers in India.

Narayanan said global brands had begun eyeing Myntra as a strategic partner to grow their businesses in India rather than treating it like just another partner to promote sales. While doing more such deals in the country, Myntra will continue to focus on building its in-house brands and also promoting fashion entrepreneurs through its accelerator programme.

Cross-selling is its success Myntra

  • Myntra to leverage Walmart’s global reach to sell private brands in global markets
  • Capitalise on Walmart’s sourcing ability to sign up better deals with global brands
  • Sell in-house tech in global markets
  • Walmart looks to leverage Myntra’s learnings on omnichannel, supply chain

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