The competition for the Indian beauty consumer heats up. Indian conglomerate Reliance Retail, run by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is launching an omnichannel beauty platform with plans to scale up an assortment of mass, premium, and luxury labels and its private-label brands.
Reliance currently sells beauty on its JioMart platform, but Tira will directly compete with category leaders Nykaa, Walmart-owned Myntra, Tata Cliq Palette, Sephora, and SS Beauty by Shopper's Stop. "We stock products that are formulated by experts and backed by industry insiders. Tira is the destination for those looking for unheard of skincare lines or a cult-favorite makeup," Tira said on its app, as quoted by Economic Times.
The platform is integrated with Reliance's fashion website Ajio and was developed in partnership with recent acquisitions. Fynd, a retail tech start-up, will be responsible for the platform's front end and consumer interface, while online pharmacy Netmeds will oversee backend operations, including warehousing and data management.
Reliance is also pursuing an omnichannel strategy and has plans to expand Tira offline. The new platform is currently only available to Reliance employees, with a launch to the general public set to happen some time in March. In a post-earnings commentary, Reliance Retail reported digital commerce and new commerce businesses grew 38% year on year in the quarter through December 2022,
The Indian beauty and personal care market is valued at $27 billion and is expected to grow annually by 3.38% CAGR through 2027. Reliance's interest in capturing its piece of the world's 8th-largest beauty market is well known. Last year the retail conglomerate acquired a majority stake in Insight Cosmetics, a color brand with 350 stock-keeping units and an omnichannel distribution strategy with 12,000 brick-and-mortar stores.
The retailer was also in advance talks to acquire the master franchise rights for Sephora in India. Ultimately Sephora decided to continue its relationship with Arvind Fashions Ltd, which has held the franchise for the market since 2015 and will continue as the operator of Sephora's 25 stores carrying 90 brands in 13 Indian cities.
Last November, there were reports that Reliance had its eye on the professional channel after acquiring a 49% stake in Naturals Salon & Spa, founded in the early 2000s, which operates over 650 salons across India with plans of expanding to 3,000 salons by 2025. Leading beauty e-commerce leader Nykaa has already expanded into the channel through a partnership with ELCA Cosmetics, an Estée Lauder Companies India affiliate, and the rollout of salons named Aveda X Nykaa.
Nykaa also recently announced plans to expand its offline footprint of 141 brick-and-mortar stores by 50 new locations in 2023. "Even though physical retail accounts for less than 10% of our revenue, there's opportunity for growth in general trade and modern trade," Falguni Nayar, Nykaa founder and CEO, said.
Reports suggest that Reliance will also be pursuing an omnichannel retail strategy for Tira, focusing on both online and offline platforms, putting pressure on Nykaa's status as the category leader.
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