Amazon opens pop-up in Spain

Amazon has opened its first pop-up store in Madrid, Spain in one of the city’s principal shopping districts, according to Reuters.

The space is laid out in the style of a house with all displayed items on sale. Goods for sale range from electronics to video games and clothing.

The e-commerce giant plans to open similar stores in Italy, Germany and Britain, according to the company spokesperson. The move underscores the online powerhouse’s push to attract customers through physical retail.



20% Amazon brands account for 80% of private brand sales

Courtesy: Junglescout

Courtesy: Junglescout

The majority of Amazon’s private label brands are found in the apparel departments. Of those brands, 60 per cent target women. In terms of revenue and sales, approximately 20 per cent of its brands account for nearly 80 per cent of its private label brand sales, as per a report. AmazonBasics does nearly 3x the sales of its next most popular brand, Presto.

Currently, Amazon trails only Wal-mart as the top apparel retailer in the US, according to the Amazon Private Label Brands Analysis by JungleScout. It says that 42 per cent of customers who view Amazon Essentials products end up purchasing them. 

The report says that most consumers search for the brand when buying an Amazon private label product, indicating strong brand recognition. Only 1 per cent of Amazon’s total sales account for its private label brands. Amazon’s Brand Scout + Ro saw 6.4x YOY growth in 2017 and Amazon has added more than 22 private label brands since 2016. 

Amazon has invested heavily in women’s clothing labels and continues to do so. However, the analysis shows that women’s clothing performs poorly for them. Women’s clothing brands account for more than 51 per cent of Amazon’s private label brands overall (and 59 per cent of clothing brands). 

“Of the 10 worst performing Amazon private label brands, 9 were women’s or girls’ clothing labels. And 82 per cent of women’s clothing brands fail to sell more than 100 units per month,” notes the report. 

On average, men’s clothing performs three times better than women’s clothing per month. Clothing have difficult selling on Amazon as women want to try on their clothing before they buy it. The other successful brands on Amazon circumvent this issue by being lower cost, less public facing (for example, the women’s fashion labels that do well are casual/at-home wear, pajamas, and lingerie), or improved social proof, the report further adds. (KD)


Hendrix secures a haze of licensing partners

Epic Rights has announced more than 50 global partners for its Authentic Hendrix program. Perryscope Productions, the exclusive worldwide merchandising agents for Authentic Hendrix and Experience Hendrix, brokered the deals.

Jimi Hendrix

Epic Rights has announced more than 50 global partners for its Authentic Hendrix program. Perryscope Productions, the exclusive worldwide merchandising agents for Authentic Hendrix and Experience Hendrix, brokered the deals.

New partners include:

North America

  • ACCO for calendars
  • American Classics for apparel
  • American Needle for headwear
  • Bentex Group for infant and toddler apparel
  • C&D Visionary for fan merch
  • C-Life Group for apparel
  • Chaser for fashion apparel
  • Get Primped for fashion tops
  • H3 Sportswear for accessories
  • I mpact Merchandising for apparel
  • Liquid Blue for apparel Lucky Brand for apparel
  • NTD for apparel
  • Philcos for apparel and accessories
  • Rockin Pins for enamel pins
  • Stoned Immaculate for fashion tops
  • Trevco for apparel (e-commerce)
  • Wildcat Retro Brands for apparel and headwear

Worldwide and International

  • Amplified for apparel (worldwide, excluding North America)
  • Aquarius Entertainment for posters, puzzles and calendars (worldwide)
  • Licensing Essentials for apparel and accessories (Australia/New Zealand)
  • Live Nation for apparel (USA, Europe, South America and Southeast Asia, excluding Japan)
  • Lucie Kaas for collectible Kokeshi Dolls (worldwide) MJC for sleepwear (worldwide)
  • EMP Merchandising for apparel and accessories (Europe)
  • Pan Inc. for apparel and electronic accessories (Asia)
  • Rock Off Trade for apparel and accessories (worldwide, excluding North America)
  • Bioworld for apparel and accessories (worldwide)
  • Blitzway for collectible figures (worldwide)
  • Bluescentric for apparel for e-commerce (worldwide)
  • Brands In for apparel and accessories (worldwide)
  • Junk Food for apparel (worldwide)
  • Knucklebonz for high-end collectible figures (worldwide
  • MadeWorn for high-end fashion apparel (worldwide)
  • Molecule8 for high-end collectible figures (worldwide) Strax for fine art (worldwide)
  • GB Eye for posters and domestics (worldwide, excluding North America)
  • Pyramid for wall art and stationery (worldwide) Titan Publishing for comic books (worldwide) “

Jimi’s amazing artistry and his legacy are the driving force behind all that we do,” says Janie Hendrix, chief executive officer and president, Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix. “Keeping his music prominent within the industry is a responsibility bestowed upon us that we embrace. Jimi’s catalog remains relevant, and he continues to influence the culture of modern music, inspiring artists and fans alike. The spirit he poured into his songs has lived on for over five decades. Epic and Perryscope have chosen licensing partners who embrace Jimi’s style to create products reflective of his uniqueness, and we are thrilled to see these products come to life.”

Recently, Epic Rights rereleased a 50th-anniversary box set of Electric Ladyland and a Jimi Hendrix e-commerce site.


Pepperfry aiming for a 100% jump in sales this Diwali

Pepperfry, the online furniture company, is giving a big push in its latest 360-degree campaign ‘Diwali Toh Sab Ke Liye Hai’ for which it has allocated Rs 20 crore

Pepperfry diwali

After a decent response to ‘Why Wait for Diwali’ Pepperfry is back with their Diwali campaign known as ‘Diwali Toh Sab Ke Liye’ where it showcases that it has something for everyone. Through this it looks to assert itself as the market leader in the category, as spelt out by its CMO Kashyap Vadapalli.

He explained, “We have product for every kind of use case, demographic, design and price point. The point we are trying to make is that we are specialists in the field. That’s a claim not everyone can make. Our understanding of the category has evolved on the basis of lots of data we have acquired in the last six years. Also, it has a strong festive touch from creator perspective.”

The 360-degree campaign which happens to be substantially bigger than the previous one ‘Why wait for Diwali,’ will run till November 10. Pepperfry has allocated Rs 20 crore for the same.

With big investment the target is also bigger this year. Vadapalli informs, “In the last couple of years Diwali month brings around a jump of 60-80 per cent over the previous quarter. With this push we should be able to get 100 per cent jump. As a business we are growing 75 per cent y-o-y.”

The media plan is specific to each market. Vadapalli shares, “We are doing radio and cinema in top six cities, outdoor in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.  TV is national (English Entertainment, Movies, English Infotainment, and select regional HD/SD channels/properties). It’s a big push from our side. If we generate additional interest in the brand and bring it top of mind during festive season then opportunity for growth is huge. This is not only online through our app but also from stores.”

On ground Pepperfry has planned events like stand-up shows and musical nights at their Pepperfry Studios (stores) in Delhi and Bangalore across three weekends before Diwali.  “The traffic and conversions from these cities are fantastic for us. It’s about getting people to understand in greater detail of our offering.”

The creatives on YouTube, TV and cinemas will be refreshed around October 22-23, Vadapalli informed. “Radio and outdoor will remain same. We looked at every market and decided media activity accordingly,” he said.

The television commercial has been conceptualised by Law and Kenneth Saatchi and Saatchi. It captures how people from different age groups, varied walks of life and diverse communal beliefs celebrate the joyous occasion of Diwali in different ways. Whether it is a family celebrating over dinner, group of friends bonding over a game of cards, a woman getting dressed for a party, or the varied reactions children have to firecrackers, it portrays countless aspects of the festivity and depicts how the concept of home goes beyond mere spaces to spark a feeling called home for everyone.

“The story is about the people in the ad not the furniture, here the objective is to not give attention to the category (since it’s already there) but we have just the right product for you,” Vadapalli signs off.


Indian Retail

India’s retail sector projected to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2020

Anarock Retail projects CAGR of 20-25% annually

India’s retail sector is projected to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2020 from the level of $672 billion in 2017, said Anuj Kejriwal, Managing Director & CEO, Anarock Retail.

“The India’s retail sector is on a faster roll than ever before and the boosters acting on retail sector are rapid urbanisation and digitisation, rising disposable incomes and lifestyle changes, particularly that of the middle-class,” he explained.

Consumption growth

Over the last two decades, the Indian retail market witnessed phenomenal changes, evolving rapidly from traditional shops to large multi-format stores in malls offering a global experience, and on to the highly tech-driven e-commerce model. According to Kejriwal, these changes have resulted in unprecedented growth in overall consumption with numbers suggesting that consumer expenditure in India is expected to almost double to $3,600 billion by 2020 from $1,824 billion in 2017.

Another highlight of this growth story is that organised retail is gaining ground. Growing significantly at a CAGR of 20-25 per cent annually, organised retail penetration is expected to be over 10 per cent of the total Indian retail market by 2020 as against just 7 per cent currently.

The organised retail market is estimated to increase to 19 per cent across the top seven cities during the same period from the current 9 per cent.

High demand for a superior customer ‘experience,’ penetration of big brands into smaller towns and cities, enhancement in business strategies and operations, along with the movement from unorganised to organised business have been key factors driving this growth.

Policy boosts

Furthermore, liberalisation in FDI policies by the Centre has repositioned the Indian retail sector on the global map, attracting a large number of global retailers into the Indian diaspora and further fuelling growth of organised retail in the country.

The government’s decision to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail under the automatic route is the icing on the cake which has attracted giants like Walmart to make a foray into India. By easing the FDI norms in the retail sector over the past few years, the government has hit the bull’s eye.

The introduction of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) as a single unified tax system in July 2017 was another major policy overhaul that is attracting foreign players. The government’s move to provide a single-policy framework for retail, FMCG and e-commerce in order to offer a level playing field to stakeholders is another step in the right direction.


Ecommerce in India

What draft e-commerce policy means for India’s retail sector

Apart from online retail firms such as Amazon and Flipkart, the India e-policy may also hit sellers on e-commerce platforms

India’s e-commerce space has seen an exponential growth over the past few years in a policy vaccuum. Graphic: Mint

India’s e-commerce space has seen an exponential growth over the past few years in a policy vaccuum. Graphic: Mint

New Delhi: Just a day before her retirement on 31 July, commerce secretary Rita Teotia tabled the draft e-commerce policy before a panel headed by commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu. Little did she know that her last act will draw severe criticism. The draft e-commerce policy, which effectively seeks to regulate all aspects of online retail and recommends strict restrictions, including curbs on discounts, may impact not just e-commerce companies, but also countless sellers working on those platforms.

Amazon and Flipkart, which make the majority of the $18 billion online retail market but were not part of the deliberations, are now lobbying to get the government to scrap the draft and consider fresh regulations instead.

The background

In 2015, two brick-and-mortar retailer bodies, Retailers Association of India (RAI) and the All India Footwear Manufacturers and Retailers Association (AIFMRA), had approached the Delhi high court arguing that e-commerce companies had undue advantage as they were allowed to access foreign direct investment (FDI), through which they can provide deep discounts that traditional retailers cannot match.

In 2012, the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had allowed 51% FDI in multi-brand retail in some cities. However, the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government announced that it will not implement the policy fearing job losses in kirana stores, although it has not formally rescinded the policy itself.

The two retail associations had also alleged that the government’s existing retail policy does not allow e-commerce firms to directly sell to customers, but in the garb of the marketplace model they are directly selling to customers, thus violating rules.

To legitimize the existing businesses of e-commerce companies operating in India, which so far have grown in a policy vacuum, the government in March 2016 allowed 100% FDI in online retail of goods and services under the so-called “marketplace model” through the automatic route.

It also notified new rules through Press note 3 (of 2016 series) which could potentially end the discount wars, prohibiting e-commerce marketplaces from offering discounts and capping total sales originating from a group company or one vendor at 25%. However, this only remained in files while e-commerce companies continued to offer heavy discounts, much to the anger of offline retailers.

Eye on WTO

While domestically, the government was seeking to make India’s retail business transition smoothly to the online space without much disruption, at multilateral fora such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the government was facing pressure to negotiate rules facilitating cross-border e-commerce. It was virtually facing isolation at the WTO ministerial conference in Buenos Aires last December, with 71 members led by China, Japan and the US, in a joint statement, saying that they would initiate exploratory work towards future WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of e-commerce.

While India maintained that it was not ready for any such multilateral rules, as the e-commerce space in the country was still evolving, difference on key issues within various wings of the government, such as data localization, and source code, were the key reasons for the reluctance.

The government has now tried to build consensus on such key issues within its various ministries. India has now proposed to mandate data localization with a two-year sunset period for the industry, while keeping the policy space to seek source code.

The return of Licence Raj?

With the government planning an e-commerce regulator, seeking the Competition Commission of India to look into mergers in the sector below the threshold limit and asking e-commerce companies to phase out discounts within two years, some have feared the return of the Licence Raj.

RAI chief executive officer Kumar Rajagopalan said he is unable to decipher the key objectives of the policy for e-commerce. He also thinks that the government is surreptitiously allowing multi-brand multichannel retail FDI. “It’s time the government understands that all business to consumer transactions are retail and we are in an omnichannel world,” he added.



Prime Day created buzz for Amazon and others

Prime Day 2018 was the biggest sales event in the e-commerce giant’s history, with estimated global sales hitting $4.38 billion, Internet Retailer reports.

Prime Day 2018 Promotion BreakdownBusiness Insider Intelligence

Amazon offered approximately 1.9 million promotions globally in 2018, a roughly 37% increase over Prime Day 2017, with apparel, shoes, sporting goods, and home goods being the most popular categories, according to a study by One Click Retail. The e-tailer is also paying more and more attention to cultivating foreign markets, with almost 60% of Prime Day deals occurring on its international marketplaces.

The shopping event was a big day for other retailers offering competing deals as well. Several major retailers besides Amazon, such as eBay and Walmart, offered deals on Prime Day with the intention of capitalizing on the shopping frenzy surrounding the event.

Forty percent of consumers made a purchase because of the deals available, with Walmart and Target being the most popular destinations, according to a study from A.T. Kearney sent to Business Insider Intelligence. The success of competing retailers may have been helped along by technical difficulties and outages that impacted Amazon’s website for several hours, which 24% of shoppers said greatly affected their purchase plans.

Despite the success of other retailers, Prime Day 2018 showed its worth as a way for Amazon to attract new users and encourage Prime membership growth.WhilePrime membership growth in the US has been steadily decelerating since 2016, leading to concerns that the program is approaching saturation, Prime Day 2018 was a strong event for new users.

Fifty-two percent of customers said that it was their first time making a Prime Day purchase, and the event drove more Prime membership signups than any other day in the history of the company, showing that Amazon is still finding ways to attract new members.

The availability of relevant discounts, combined with the focus on promotions in non-US markets, may help the e-tailer continue to drive penetration well into the future by proving that Prime is worth its price to nonmembers in the US and by increasing exposure for the company abroad.

But if other retailers can manage to decentralize Prime Day, it may lose much of the value it holds for Amazon. A significant part of Prime Day for Amazon is that it drives the desire to be a Prime member and shop with Amazon, which makes it interesting that almost half of the respondents took advantage of deals elsewhere as well.

If other retailers can recast the holiday so that it becomes more about shopping for special deals online than it is about shopping with Amazon specifically, the event will lose a lot of the momentum that it lends to the e-commerce giant.



Ecommerce companies roping in celebrities to add star power to their brands

Amazon and Flipkart are roping in celebrities to push their brands, reported Economic Times.

Amazon has already brought A-lister celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, and Salman Khan to promote Amazon Prime Video and its upcoming Prime Day.

Rival Flipkart named Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor as its brand ambassadors last month and has rolled out a film featuring these actors offering fashion advice.

According to the report, e-commerce companies have been using celebrities to promote sales events and also for more customer acquisition.

For example, Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone co-own brands with Myntra.

Both sell their respective celebrity brands of All About You and HRX and Myntra has been using the duo extensively to pitch products through television ads and social media and calling consumers with recorded ads.


Maura Regan_LIMA - final


This year, in a first, IFF brought an eminent panel of international and domestic luminaries drawn from licensing, fashion and retail, to share their views and insights on key trends, synergies and how licensing can enhance the fashion business. Insight Partner- The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA)

Opening Statement 

Maura Regan_LIMA - final
Maura Regan – Executive Vice President, LIMA

Maura Regan, Executive Vice President, LIMA, in her opening statement said, “I am particularly excited about the industry because as I see it as an industry particularly to drive growth locally in the countries as well as on a global brand. There has been a lot of discussion how to drive growth and how to engage the consumers and alternatively how to drive revenue for all our business partners. When you are thinking on these lines it’s very important to realize the value of ‘Brand Licensing’ as a business model. There is not a less risky way to get into differentiating your product category to the consumer with brand licensing. Here you are investing into something at a very low risk level at somebody who has spent many years in developing a brand. So it’s less risky for one to enter through brand licensing way. You must know that most companies’ market capitalization is driven by brand recognition. Fashion in particular takes a lot of advantage of brand licensing. You have examples of fashion major likes Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klien etc which was the early adapters in the brand licensing industry. All of these companies are using smart licensing and delivering good revenue to their companies’ bottom lines. Some of the other trends which were seen across the board in licensing were particularly the consumer buying patterns from online to offline where it is largely driven by the recognition of brand licensing. Another big trend which was also seen is what I call is “follow the thread”; this means we want you to look good, feel good and do good. This means that the consumers wants to know what they are wearing; where it is produced, how it is produced, is it sustainable as they are conscious of what they are. Fashion is an expression of lifestyle with a drive and hope that you belong to. Fast Fashion in particular is more of a trend than the way of life these days. What we are particularly seeing that the consumer is looking for an experience with engagement at the retail level, a quality product and something which they can feel good about. And the way to get there is through smart brand licensing.”


Panel Discussion







Jiggy George, Head, LIMA India and Founder & CEO, Dream Theatre








Nicolas Loufrani, CEO, Smiley Company    






Sanjeet Mehta, Executive Director & Head – Disney Consumer Products – The Walt Disney Company






Vivek Bali, COO, Sephora India at Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd






Girish Kumar, Trading Head, Shoppers Stop






Rajesh Narkar, Brand Director/VP, Myntra






Shweta Pandey, Director Counsel, Head Legal & Member, Board of Directors 

Excerpts from the panel discussion:

Kicking off the session, Jiggy George said, “We have had a very interesting phase in licensing in India. Three things which are very important for this industry to grow exponentially. Out of these two things which work in India phenomenally well is that we have a large consuming class and our niches are very large and second is that people have an understanding of the brands. The third element which is really not intersecting is retail. Our organized retail is exceptionally small. There has been a great disruption from the perspective of e-commerce which has increased the consumption ratio. The offline retail is growing but not at the pace where we in the world of licensing would like to see. But it’s just a matter of time where we started from a small base and it would grow and take off.”


Moderator to Sanjeet Mehta: We are great viewers of Disney’s content. Why is the No.1 entertainment company in the world so obsessed with fashion?


Sanjeet Mehta: Fashion is one of the biggest categories not in India but globally. If I look at the success factor of Disney with fashion segment it boils to 2 major factors. Fashion has been moving from just being centered to product design to storytelling where Disney fits in so wonderfully. The other aspect is product design which resonates and goes very well with every product category in fashion. We have fashion across all age categories right from Mickey which has different art styles for different age groups i.e. infant, kids, youth and adult.


Moderator : When it comes to storytelling it resembles well with a brand like Smiley which is seen everywhere from your mobile to a newspaper. So is Smiley a character or a fashion brand. Secondly, how have you been so successful around the world from fashion perspective?


 Nicolas Loufrani: Smiley is a fashion brand and is still not recognized as a character. It was my decision to make it a fashion brand as it is huge canvas. I have a fashion background with my studio in London where we think on creative lines of fashion for Smiley. Licensing is not and buy and sell model. Licensing is a partnership between the licensor and the licensee. Each side is bringing something to the table. As a licensor we bring along the history, brand value, and knowledge of our brand and it’s copyright. And on the other hand the licensee is bringing the product developers, manufacturing, the retailers and logistics etc.


Moderator: What is the value proposition which is really required for a License to work?

Vivek Bali: On behalf of Arvind I would say firstly it is the strengths of the brands and then the strength of Arvind to take this further into distribution and build the brand. So the brand proposition has to be very strong and how successful they have been globally. How they have marketed the brand. What type of customers they have targeted around which segments. And finally what are the markets spends which these brands might do while we would spend to create assets for them and localize it. I think Arvind has the strength in terms of specialty manufacturing, the economies of scale to deliver a price and distribute the brand across the length and breadth of this country.


Moderator: When it comes to brand and characters which amplify by way of entertainment. How does it validate as pure fashion play in retail? Does it work or not?


Rajesh Narkar: We being in e-commerce, we reach far more customers than traditional retail. We clearly figure out quickly if there any white spaces available in the first go. Everything that we do in fashion space with our private labels and brand licensing, we look at the proposition and who are the consumers. Putting consumers in the center, we figure out if there are likely brands in this space itself and whether they are in India or global. Post this we figure out a partnership model. The final part which we look at is the scale. Myntra today has 30 million customers on the site every month. Within this you have certain amount of retail properties or visible site when the consumers download the app. We look at how a new brand is filling this gap. If all these propositions align in our list then we look at a final go ahead at taking up the brand.


Moderator: Online retail works on data, what about the advantages in offline retail? How does one evaluate physical retailing?


Girish Kumar: The biggest advantage of offline retail is its straightforward wherein we are talking to the customer directly and we are not talking to a screen. This way, you can engage with the customers directly and get to know exactly what are their dreams, their aspirations and their needs. Shoppers Stop has been partnering with multiple licensors across various levels from a private brand to a company like Disney to celebrity brands.


Moderator: Everything you do is based on law and legal contacts? What’s your take when you look at international brands and licensing them in India, the challenges which you face?


Shweta Pandey: We are living in an omnichannel retail era where the consumers are very aware and know exactly what is that they are looking for and the associations they want to make when they are picking up a product. There is lot of pressure on retailers today to continuously keep innovating and putting the best in front of the customers in their respective segments. What Licensing helps you do at that basic level is help with that innovation and being able to put that value in front of your customer at a very low risk. So the License does stand to benefit here as some of the initial investments and stake in the goodwill is not something which is upon him. What it means that from the licensor’s perspective it is very important is that when you are looking at licensing your brand which you have built with lot of effort over the years, you enlist matching your philosophy with that of the licensor.

India as country is very difficult country to work in when it comes to trademark protection, copyright etc. So my advice is you should be careful in choosing your partners and laying down everything which is required from a commercial perspective into writing.


Moderator There is a great urge within Licensees to build their own brand vs. Licensing brands?


Sanjeet Mehta: If you just look at the character licensing space in India there are broadly two approaches which are available. We all in fashion there is huge move towards private labels. The two options which are available with retailers are that he can create Disney as a separate line and brand it Disney or this proposition can fit in their private label. The crux of the licensing is that anything you license out at the local level has to be in some conversation around that brand of that subject. I don’t think one should reinvent wherein this is where lot of people go wrong.