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Losses widen at Indian etailer Koovs despite sales growth

Indian etailer Koovs’ revenue rocketed 144% to INR199.2m (£2m) but losses widened to INR570.6m (£5.7m) for the six months to September 30, from INR359.5m (£3.6m) during the same period in 2014.

Koovs

Total sales through the website grew by 196% during the period to INR282.7m (£2.8m). Traffic increased 128% to 16.4 million visits and the conversion rate rose by 54% to 1.43%.

Gross margin was helped by a reduced level of discounting, although this was limited by the relatively small scale of the operation at present. Margin is expected to improve as the purchasing power of the group increases with scale.

The company said marketing and advertising spend has been higher than originally anticipated because the ecommerce market in India is growing rapidly.

In September, Koovs announced plans to raise up to £35m over three years to invest in marketing, product range and infrastructure to drive scale.

An initial £1.1m has been raised through the issue of new shares to management in October and further shares will be issued in the new year, subject to the approval of shareholders.

The group said it was uncertain if it could access sufficient further funding to support the business over the next 12 months and whether it could meet its forecasts and manage its expenses. But it said the directors have a “reasonable expectation” that ongoing efforts will be successful after encouraging discussions with potential investors.

Former Asos.com non-executive director Mary Turner became chief executive of Koovs on October 1, after she joined the board in July last year as non-executive director.

“It is an incredibly exciting time to join Koovs, as young, fashion-conscious Indians are searching for brands that share their passion for exclusive western fashion,” she said. “I have always described Koovs as India’s best kept secret and I am delighted to be part of the journey as we build our profile and ensure more young customers can share this secret.”

Koovs said it is making continued progress on its strategic priorities, which include building its private label from its design office in London and bringing international brands to India, which now account for 60% of sales volumes, and extending its fashion credentials. It also wants to develop its delivery and price promises and enhance its use of technology.

Earlier this month, it launched a multimedia brand advertising campaign and introduced a new customer engagement platform called Style Stories, which allows customers to share fashion inspiration and style news.

The company plans to extend into new categories to drive sales including casualwear, workwear and activewear. It is aiming to achieve 25% brand awareness within its target market within 18 months to increase market share.

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