No Ignoring Ecommerce Anymore : Pantaloons comes up with an Ecommerce Portal

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New Delhi, March 26: Aditya Birla Group will start an e-commerce website for Pantaloons department store in the coming weeks to explore the booming e-commerce business in India.

“In the coming weeks, consumers will be able to buy our products through www.pantaloons.com,” says Shital Mehta, chief executive of the Aditya Birla’s unit that the group had acquired from Future Group.

While Aditya Birla announced the acquisition of Pantaloons from Kishore Biyani about three years ago for Rs 1,600 crore, the chain only came into its fold in April 2013.

In 2013, Aditya Birla inherited 65 Pantaloons outlets and the Mumbai-based conglomerate has so far added 40 stores in the past two years.

Pantaloons products are already available through Aditya Birla Group’s e-commerce site Trendin.com, but now the department store chain will also have its own e-commerce site even though the back-end and logistics will still be handled by Trendin, Mehta said.

Currently, Aditya Birla sells all its brands, including Allen Solly, Louis Philippe, Peter England among other labels, through the common Trendin online platform and Pantaloons’ buyers will also be redirected to Trendin, Mehta added.

“A lot of customers want to buy offline as well as online and this is just to ensure we give them a seamless shopping,” he said, adding that its loyalty card holders will also receive the same loyalty benefits as that of the brick-and-mortar stores.

Last month, Pantaloons signed an exclusive deal to sell its private labels on Jabong, joining a growing number of India’s oldest brands that are not only warming up to e-commerce, but also embracing the reality of changing landscapes of Indian retail. Started in 1997 in Gariahat in Kolkata, Pantaloons is one of India’s oldest large department store chains.

Other big brick-and-mortal retailers, including Future Group, Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle International and Spencer’s Retail are either planning to or they already sell their products on e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Jabong.

Apart from its online thrust, Pantaloons is also expanding its brick-and-mortar store and plans to open on-an-average two stores a month in the coming years. On Wednesday, the company rolled out its 100th store in Karol Bagh, New Delhi. “We are opening eight more stores in the next one week,” Mehta said.

In the past one year or so, Pantaloons had also launched San Frisco Jeans Co. and Byford, a British sport-inspired lifestyle brand in addition to expanding its own range of private labels.

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