Mukherjee, The Economic Times
3 September 2015
Retail will rename its maternity and childcare stores as 'Babyoye
by Mahindra', dropping the name 'Mom & Me' in favour of shopping
website Babyoye. com, which it acquired earlier this year.
This is the first time that an Indian retailer is adopting the
name of an online entity for its brick and mortar stores, indicating
the bigger pull of e-commerce in certain segments. The retail
arm of Mahindra & Mahindra had been operating its 115 maternity
and childcare stores under the name 'Mom & Me' for six years.
The company said it wants a single unified brand presence across
channels and that 'Babyoye' has a larger recall, is more youthful,
and resonates better with younger parents who would interact simultaneously
with online and offline.
"The Babyoye brand brings with it a connect due to its big
online presence and we also wanted to capitalise on the Mahindra
brand, which is our parentage and has its own legacy," said
Mahindra Retail chief executive officer Prakash Wakankar. "Sufficient
evaluation was done where both Mom & Me and Babyoye brands
stood, and we decided to go for the latter not because it was
superior, but since it's more vibrant and a reflection of current
consumer trend," Wakankar said. Wakankar said Mahindra Retail
will completely integrate operations between the online and offline
entity as part of the company's omni-channel strategy.
"While Babyoye online would offer a wider range, consumers
would eventually be able to order from the store any product sold
online, pick it up from the store and even return it to the store,"
he said. Mahindra Retail had earlier shut down its Mom & Me
online store and integrated it with Babyoye.com.
Analysts said it makes sense to put muscle behind one brand rather
than two, if the segments targeted are identical.
"The pros and cons of picking one over the other depend
on which one is more visible and has higher weight with the consumer.
Also, since Mom & Me has been targeted at a broader age range,
with Babyoye being selected as the operating brand the merchandise
mix in the stores will also be significantly refocused and narrowed
down," said Devangshu Dutta, chief executive at consultancy
Last fiscal, Mahindra Retail had revenue of Rs 210.5 crore and
incurred net loss of Rs 118.9 crore, according to Mahindra &
Mahindra's annual report.
Wakankar said that with more than 92 company-owned stores, breakeven
is still a couple of years away, but the retailer has undertaken
several initiatives to increase per sq feet revenue which will
ultimately deliver results.
(Published in The