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Zovi moves beyond apparel e-tailing to home furnishings, kidswear up next

Zovi.com a private label e-tailer dealing in apparel and accessories for men and women, has expanded its set of offerings. Last week, it has launched home furnishings as a category with offerings in the range of home décor and bed linen.

The home furnishings section currently offers a range of bed sheets and cushion covers, which will be expanded in near future to similar offerings. The next category in line to be launched next month is kidswear. After kidswear, however, Zovi plans to put a cap on category expansion and focus on increasing depth in these categories. "We had always planned to add women's wear then home furnishings and after that kidswear," said N Monappa, head-marketing, Zovi.com.

Run by Robemall Apparels Pvt Ltd, Zovi was founded in 2010 by Satish Mani, former senior vice-president (Technology) at Cleartrip, along with Kavindra Mishra and Sartaj Mehta. It started out as a menswear private label online brand and added women's wear and accessories later on.  "Zovi is a fashion and lifestyle brand. The rebranding and category expansion is part of overall plan to make Zovi more relevant to its target audience," Monappa said. Apart from the new categories, Zovi has also launched a new logo for the brand and is in midst of a rebranding exercise.

In May, Zovi had disclosed its second round of funding of about $10 million by Tiger Global and SAIF Partners.  In July, 2011, it raised $5.5 million in Series A round led by SAIF Partners. MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra was also a part of the investors' line up in the first round and had joined the board of the firm. The current round of funding is being utilised for this expansion and rebranding.

Monappa also informed that currently, Zovi is witnessing a traction of 1,500 transactions a day and hope to boost it with this category expansion. Zovi had earlier claimed to Techcircle that the company's average transaction size is around Rs 800-1,000.

Private label offering seems to be the new hot trend in the e-commerce fraternity. Apart from older players like Myntra, horizontal player Pepperfry also stealthily forayed into private labels last month. "Private label e-tailing has its own advantages and challenges. While it offers higher margins, the challenge is in brand building and gaining customers trust," Monappa said.

Players like Zovi, Freecultr will now face a battle with older layers like Myntra and Pepperfry. However, it will be interesting to see how these other players play put between normal brands and their own private label offerings. What do you think?

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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