Physical game pays off for FashionValet
By Lum Ka Kay December 24, 2015
- 10% online customers opt to pick up items from physical store
- Already profitable, offers premium ‘touch and feel’ to customers
HAVING gone physical in July, Malaysia-based e-commerce startup FashionValet is finding that 10% of its online customers prefer to collect their items from its physical store.
FashionValet founder and chief executive officer Fadzarudin Anuar (pic above) said this phenomenon has helped him understand one thing: Customers want their items fast!
“The touch-and-feel element still plays a crucial role when it comes to premium fashion, so the physical store sorts of complements our online store,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Kuala Lumpur recently.
FashionValet opened its first physical pop-up store in July, and officially converted that outlet to a permanent flagship store slightly more than a week ago.
Customers can opt to pick up their purchased items at the physical store three hours after they have checked out from the online store.
Fadzarudin said FashionValet has not marketed the ‘pick-up’ offer because the feature is still in its test phase.
“Only customers who check out from our online store will receive the offer to pick up their items from our physical store,” he said.
He claimed that the performance of the physical store has exceeded his expectations, and the support from customers has been “overwhelming.”
“Initially, our expectation for the physical store was just to break even on the rental – it was just supposed to help FashionValet’s branding, with our online store subsidising its rental and operations cost.
“But it has been able to sustain itself and is profitable, [despite] having just launched in July this year,” he added.
The 27-year-old entrepreneur also claimed that FashionValet has managed to double last year’s revenue, and that 2015 is the fifth year in a row that it has doubled its annual revenue since it started in 2010.
Fadzarudin isn’t worried that sales via the e-commerce site will be taken over by sales via the physical store.
“The online store is way ahead of the offline store in terms of sales.
“It’s very simple: Space in our physical store is limited and we can only place so many items, whereas on the online store, space is unlimited.
“At the physical store, we have to be very careful with merchandising because we don’t want to waste floor space.
“We have to make sure items displayed in the physical store are able to attract customers to come in to visit, and even try on our products,” he said.
The local factor
Fadzarudin said that the physical store also offers a ‘premium touch’ to customers, which is important for local and regional designers.
“It is important (to these designers) because people typically assume local goods lack quality or that they’re overpriced.
“We want to change the perception. We want to show people that local and regional products are just as good as the international brands,” he said.
The traction of FashionValet’s physical store has prompted Fadzarudin to plan to have at least one more physical store in Kuala Lumpur; and he is also looking to establish offline stores in Singapore and Jakarta.
He argued that establishing offline stores in the region would help increase local and regional fashion designers’ exposure.
Meanwhile, Fadzarudin said that FashionValet is in the midst of raising Series B funding, although he did not say how much it is aiming for.
This follows a ‘multimilion-dollar’ Series A round earlier this year, led by Elixir Capital, a global private equity firm based in Silicon Valley.
“When it comes to Series B, investors will be more sceptical of a company’s performance – it’s no longer about the company’s vision because that should have been set out when you started,” Fadzarudin said.
For its next number, FashionValet gets physical
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