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10 Business Firms That Went From Online to Offline With more and more e-commerce companies going offline, is it correct to say that offline is the future of online start-ups and companies?

By Bhavya Kaushal

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O2O is the growing inevitable trend of the season. While it is something that can be at once confusing; because the world has seen an uproar of online platforms; this trend is important so that consumers are not left out from the personal form of communication and services which offline stores offer. Entrepreneur India looks at 10 companies that went from online to brick-and-mortar form.

Under Armour Official Facebook

Under Armour

American based company, Under Armour founded in 1996 by former Fork Union Military Academy Football team. The e-commerce firm known for its sports footwear, clothing and equipment supply opened its first retail store in Baltimore in 2007 after dealing online for almost a decade. Today its retail stores are spread across the world including Canada, China and many other places.

Lenskart Official Facebook

Lenskart

The e-commerce eyewear brand gave a whole new dimension to online trading when it was founded in 2010. Soon this enterprise went offline with opening many retail stores across the country. Today there are more than 300 stores across the nation including Delhi, Chandigarh, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore etc. Piyush Bansal, co-founder had said in an interview last year that they plan to open 400 stores in the next two years with an investment plan of 100 crores.

Replay Official Facebook

Replay and Reliance Brands

Italian denim unicorn plans to open a major distribution platform in India in a partnership with Reliance brands. Italy is still grappling with establishing a firm ground in the online sector but Replay is a success story to reckon. The online platform which sold its jeans through Myntra plans to emerge in the India market with its retail store plan in Delhi and Mumbai partnered by Reliance.

Scotch and Soda Official Facebook

Scotch and Soda

The Dutch retail company founded in 1985, provided avenues for distribution in India through e-commerce platforms such as Myntra opened a store. Scotch and Soda is a well-known brand in the international market and has quite a reputation in the fashion and design industry. After tasting success in the online arena, it made a debut to occupy the physical space starting from establishing stores in Delhi last year.

Pepperfry Official Facebook

Pepperfry

The trailblazer of online furniture shopping in India went offline when it opened its first store in December in 2014 in Mumbai. Later on, it expanded its bandwidth to accommodate more physical spaces in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Chennai etc. The leading player in the furniture segment in India, today, provides home design experience zone to customers across more than 20 cities.

Dorothy Perkins Official Facebook

Dorothy Perkins

One of U.K.'s oldest fashion retailer took the online reigns in its hand when the social media fever erupted in the world. However, it is now planning to go local after signing a 4-year contract with Jabong. The fashion brand is an example of more and more companies going for brick-and-mortar form structures to expand their businesses.

Myntra Official Facebook

Myntra

Flipkart's fashion branch Myntra opened its first brick and mortar store. This physical space is a result of a partnership between Myntra and Barcelona based Fashion brand Mango. As part of the alliance, Mango and Myntra will be setting up 25 stores across the nation. While such partnerships help in splitting the cost of operations, they also help in bringing more business by providing support through a financial arm.

FirstCry.com Official Facebook

FirstCry

FirstCry.com is India's largest online shopping platform for kids and baby products. FirstCry recently made an advent into the physical space and it has established several stores across Delhi and NCR. Next stores coming up are in Gujarat, Haryana, Pune, Telangana etc.

Urban Ladder Official Facebook

Urban Ladder

On the similar lines as Pepperfry and Lenskart are Urban Ladder, another India's famous online e-commerce giant that has today become an omnichannel furniture and décor retailer. It started as an online shopping platform but gradually it embraced the idea of offline channels for distribution. In one of the interviews at TechSparks 2018, Rajiv Srivatsa, Founder and CPTO, Urban Ladder said, "Around three years back, we decided that we were more a brand and not just a marketplace. A brand needs to be where the consumer is. And today, consumers for this category are 99 per cent offline. They ask us where our store is even as we deliver their online orders." Today, it has 3 stores in Bangalore and it will establish more such stores in the upcoming years.

Housejoy Official

Housejoy

An online services platform wherein users can browse for house related services such as cleaning, repairing, plumbing etc. This online platform decided to go O2O because the management felt that the key aspect of their business is a trust which they can build only through offline services. Thus the decision to open stores came into their minds. In one of the interviews to Glispa, Sumon Chandra, Head of Digital Marketing at Housejoy said, "One of our main tech investments has been to improve the "customer and service partner matchmaking algorithm' on the basis of multiple parameters. We have also invested in local and vernacular language options. This is to ensure that literacy and language do not become barriers. We provided a simple interface with a minimalistic design."

Bhavya Kaushal

Former Features Writer

I am a work-in-progress writer and human being. An English graduate from Delhi University, writing is my passion and currently, I was Entrepreneur India's start-up reporter. I love covering start-ups and weaving their stories into unforgettable tales with the power of ink! 
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