JD-backed Thai fashion e-commerce startup Pomelo plans to boost revenue by offering its own technology in analytics and demand forecasting to other fashion brands in the region, its CEO David Jou says, amid slowing offline sales.
The women’s fashion firm, which started as an online business in 2013, plans to launch its business-to-business (B2B) unit, Prism, next month to offer services like demand planning and logistics for other fashion and lifestyle brands.
The plan comes as physical store sales and traffic have dropped.
Store traffic in Thailand plummeted 71 per cent in the first quarter of this year and about 20 per cent in its other markets, said Jou in an interview with Reuters, adding that e-commerce was strong.
Its B2B service has drawn brands like Levi’s as customers.
The startup has raised a total of $83 million from investors including Thailand’s largest retailer Central Group and competes with companies like Japan’s Uniqlo.
Retailers are accelerating digitisation due to the pandemic, creating demand for the service, he said.
Local brands, which already know their customers, can get support in product development, textile sourcing, and supply chain management, Jou said.
Pomelo would continue to sell its own apparel brand and is planning to add 44 more physical stores on top of its 25 existing locations.
The company is also experimenting with having customers try on clothes at home in a partnership with ride-hailer, Grab.
- Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Ed Davies, of Reuters.