Jewellery retail brand CaratLane, which was founded in 2008 as an online initiative and then embarked on an omni-channel strategy, is now looking at aggressively expanding its brick-and-mortar network.
In 2016, the Titan Company, part of the giant Tata industrial group, which owns the countrywide dominant jewellery retailer Tanishq, bought a 62 percent stake in CaratLane and then increased that stake to 69 percent in February this year.
The Titan group announced when it increased its stake that the cash infusion would go towards accelerating CaratLane’s brick-and-mortar expansion. The company, which now has around 62 stores, planes to boost that number to about 90 by the end of the current financial year.
CaratLane Chief Operating Officer Rajan Amba was quoted as saying that research indicated the Indian consumer was more comfortable with physical shopping when it came to jewellery. He added that the current expansion plans were centred around the bigger cities, with 60 percent earmarked for Tier-1 and the remainder for Tier-2.
The expansion is heavily skewed toward increasing CaratLane’s partner network rather than opening more company-owned stores. Amba indicated that the Tanishq partner network too was keen to expand into the segment served by CaratLane. Additionally, parent Titan Group’s partner network, which amounted to around 700 in a variety of businesses, created an ecosystem that CaratLane could leverage in its expansion plans.