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Myntra shutters two loss-making offline stores in Mumbai, Bengaluru

The closure of the loss-making stores is part of Myntra’s change in strategy after Walmart acquired parent Flipkart Group for $16 billion.

, ET Bureau|
Mar 14, 2019, 08.23 AM IST
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Various mall executives said Myntra had been in talks with them for opening Esprit-branded outlets.

Walmart-owned Myntra has shuttered a prominent Mango store in Mumbai and the flagship store of private brand Roadster in Bengaluru, which had marked the company’s high-profile entry into brick-and-mortar retailing, amid plans to focus on core online sales, according to two people familiar with the development.

The closure of the loss-making stores is part of Myntra’s change in strategy after Walmart acquired parent Flipkart Group for $16 billion in May, the people said. However, Myntra said it is going ahead with its brick-and-mortar initiatives. “The information on offline business isn’t correct. While we do not comment on our strategy for opening or closing stores in particular locations due to competitive reasons, Myntra continues to move forward in its strategic direction including through franchise offline stores as per the plan,” a Myntra spokesperson said.

On Wednesday, a signboard outside the shuttered Roadster outlet in Bengaluru’s Indiranagar area read that the 4,850 sqft property was available for rent. Executives at neighbouring stores said Roadster closed in late February. The Mango store in Mumbai’s Palladium Mall was closed about two weeks ago, said a person familiar with the matter.

Both persons said the Roadster and Mango outlets were making losses. “Sales were weak compared to the high rentals,” said one of them.

Various mall executives said Myntra had been in talks with them for opening Esprit-branded outlets but they are not returning calls and not responding to emails.

“Now, they won’t open Esprit outlets and they are not signing new leases for any of the brands,” said one person familiar with developments at Myntra. Myntra had spelt out plans barely nine months ago to roll out 100 physical outlets —half of them of Roadster and the rest of HRX, Mango and others — to tap the complimentary omni-channel initiatives. Myntra entered offline retailing with the Roadster outlet in Bengaluru in 2017.

ET reported in September that Myntra had been scouting for space in malls for various brick-and-mortar formats it had planned, including a department store chain, a women’s fashion chain called Myntra Women, cosmetics format Myntra Beauty and sports and lifestyle outlets.

Prior to shelving those plans, Myntra had approached malls seeking space ranging from 3,000 sqft for outlets selling cosmetics products to 20,000-30,000 sqft for department stores.
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