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Indian e-commerce firms could turn into single-brand retailers

India - Retail in Asia

Some Indian e-commerce firms, like Urban Ladder, Zivame, FabAlley and Yepme, are considering turning into single-brand retailers so that consumers can buy from their stores without foregoing their foreign investments.

It was in November last year that the government had amended its single-brand retail policy to allow foreign-funded retailers to sell products through both brick-and-mortar and online stores.

“It gives flexibility to pick whatever we want to do,” Yepme CEO Vivek Gaur told ET.

SEE ALSO: India’s retail e-commerce sector small but still growing 

When these online retailers re-model their businesses into single-brand operation, they would be able to hold and sell their own inventory online, without breaking any of the FDI regulations.

“Currently, we are funded by Indian angel investors. As and when we get foreign money, we will definitely apply for single-brand licence,” said Shivani Poddar, cofounder of the Bengaluru-based fashion start-up FabAlley.

As per industry experts, companies are right in leveraging on their brand equity by going mono brands.

However, not all online players are in for this option. Limeroad and Voonik, for example, said that they want to maintain their marketplace models, thus allowing other retailers to sell their products using these platforms.