ITC, the diversified group is embracing the route of online marketplace in order to push its lifestyle retail business. Particularly, it plans this route for its apparel brand John Players that is likely to expand into new categories.
ITC’s CEO for lifestyle retailing business, Atul Chand, stated that the company is planning to introduce John Players in categories like eyewear, footwear, bags, and backpacks. These new categories will be sold via the online marketplaces.
ITC stated that this move is prompted by the massive success of the apparel brand via online sales through the retailers such as Flipkart, Myntra, and Snapdeal in the past 12 months. The sales growth rate of this brand has increased two folds to 20 percent over the Wills Lifestyle that is the premium business.
Chand stated that the company plans to introduce an exclusive clothing line for John Players for e-commerce. He added that John Players is one of the top selling apparel brands on the leading e-commerce portals. They are including new categories of the brand, especially for online. If this move turns out to be successful, they will take these categories to the physical stores as well. The expansion will happen in the products that will interest the young consumers.
Right now, ITC has an exclusive online store for the John Players and Wills Lifestyle products. However, the sales are just a fraction of what happens through the online marketplaces. The exclusive online store will exist, but the company will shed its focus on teaming up with the online marketplaces.
Already, ITC has launched some apparel lines including message T-shirts, wind cheaters, and hoodies in the John Player brand and these will be exclusive to the online marketplaces. Right now, 10 percent of the revenue for the lifestyle retail business of ITC is from online sales and the company aims to make it 15 percent.