Madame Sets Sights on Endless Aisle; Aims to Revolutionize Customer Experience

Madame Sets Sights on Endless Aisle; Aims to Revolutionize Customer Experience
With endless aisle functionality in place, it will focus on consolidating its presence and delivering exceptional experiences to consumers.

By Vaishnavi gupta , Sr Correspondent

14 Mar 2024 | 8 min read

In the post-Covid era, Madame has consistently achieved double-digit growth, averaging 25 percent year-on-year. However, the previous year saw a slight plateau due to various market dynamics, especially in the fashion retail sector.

“While every company aims for robust double-digit growth, the current landscape, with a focus on democracy and the upcoming government elections, suggests that the first half of this year may be subdued and plateaued. Nevertheless, we're optimistic about the future, targeting a return to double-digit growth and aiming for around 14-15 percent growth this year,” said Akhil Jain, Executive Director, Madame.

Multichannel Presence

The brand operates across all verticals, including exclusive brand stores, large format stores, and marketplaces, with a focus on both direct-to-consumer (D2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) spaces. Approximately 60 percent of its business is concentrated in the online segment, while the remaining 40 percent is in the B2B2C space, encompassing large format stores and EBOs.

Aside from its website, Madame is present on various leading online platforms such as Myntra, Ajio, Tata CLiQ, and Nykaa, which are rapidly gaining traction in the fashion sector. These marketplaces serve as crucial distribution channels for our products.

“In terms of sales, our D2C segment accounts for a smaller proportion, constituting around 25 percent of our online sales and approximately 6 percent of our overall business ecosystem,” stated Jain.

Brick-n-Mortar Strategy

Currently, the brand has around 180 exclusive stores operating. Its focus for store expansion is primarily on the northern, eastern, and western regions. However, Madame recognizes the potential in untapped markets, particularly in southern India. This year, it is venturing into new territories such as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to establish its presence.

“Our target for store openings this year is approximately 20, aligning with our consistent expansion strategy,” he asserted.

In addition to its exclusive stores, the brand has a strong presence in major large-format retailers like Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, and Central, which are key players in the market.

Balanced Expansion

The company's roots in Tier II markets, with its headquarters in Ludhiana, have endowed it with deep familiarity and expertise in these regions. While its presence in South India is limited, the brand acknowledges the opportunities in major metro areas that it has yet to tap into. “Currently, our business distribution stands at around 40 percent in metros and Tier I cities, with the remaining 60 percent coming from Tier II and III locations,” noted Jain.

“Expanding into metro cities is part of our strategy, but it's not exclusive. We operate on a balanced approach, leveraging the relatively lower entry barriers of Tier II and III markets while cautiously navigating the challenges posed by high real estate costs in metros. For instance, establishing a foothold in Bengaluru presents significant hurdles due to soaring property prices. Therefore, our expansion efforts entail a strategic clustering approach that optimizes resources and mitigates risks across all market segments,” he added.

Product Diversification

The company operates across 22 major categories, with a strong focus on fast fashion that encompasses various subcategories. In any given season, the brand manages around 1200 options across its exclusive brand formats, covering a diverse range from apparel to accessories like handbags, footwear, and recently launched EDPs (Eau de parfums).

“Currently, accessories account for 12 percent of our product portfolio, while apparel dominates with an 88 percent share,” said Jain.

Looking ahead, the brand is particularly concentrating on expanding its EDP category. “We've already launched our second variant and plan to introduce the third variant post-August 15th. Our goal is to offer a total of six variants, providing a diverse range for our customers. Our EDPs are priced at approximately Rs 4000 for a 100 ml bottle, aligning with the standards expected from our brand,” he added.

Tech-Driven Retail Evolution

As the buzz around omnichannel strategies continues to grow, many brands, including Madame, are in the process of testing and refining their approaches. While some international brands have already embraced concepts like the endless aisle, Madame is still evolving towards fully integrating its online and offline operations. However, the brand recognizes the inevitability of this shift and is actively working on it. “By the second half of the year, we anticipate making significant progress in this area, possibly unveiling news of our move towards endless aisle functionality,” he highlighted.

In its stores, Madame has implemented various technological innovations to enhance efficiency and customer experience. For instance, it has adopted a footfall tracking tool that utilizes video streams, replacing manual counting methods. Additionally, AI-based assortment planning tools are optimizing inventory management and allocation processes. It is also experimenting with smart fitting solutions, allowing customers to virtually try on multiple products using interactive mirrors.

Future Vision

Looking ahead, the brand’s expansion plans for the next two to three years are centered around leveraging technologies like Endless Aisle to enhance customer experiences and streamline operations. With endless aisle functionality in place, it will focus on consolidating its presence and delivering exceptional experiences to consumers.

“This may involve reevaluating our reliance on offline point-of-sale systems and reallocating resources towards improving in-store experiences or expanding store sizes within existing geographies. For instance, we might consolidate our current 20 stores into 16 larger stores to provide customers with an enhanced retail environment and better serve their needs,” he concluded.

In the post-Covid era, Madame has consistently achieved double-digit growth, averaging 25 percent year-on-year. However, the previous year saw a slight plateau due to various market dynamics, especially in the fashion retail sector.

“While every company aims for robust double-digit growth, the current landscape, with a focus on democracy and the upcoming government elections, suggests that the first half of this year may be subdued and plateaued. Nevertheless, we're optimistic about the future, targeting a return to double-digit growth and aiming for around 14-15 percent growth this year,” said Akhil Jain, Executive Director, Madame.

Featured Collections

  • Retail and Business
  • Technology
  • CPG
  • Food Service