Pooja Yadav

Alia Bhatt led Ed-a-Mamma plans to expand its retail presence in India

The brand will launch around 60 shop-in-shops by the end of this financial year.

Over the years, many Bollywood celebrities have launched their own brands and some of them have even achieved success. There’s Alia Bhatt’s Ed-a-Mamma, Katrina Kaif’s Kay Beauty, 82°E by Deepika Padukone, HRX by Hrithik Roshan, to name a few.

Ed-a-Mamma, a sustainable clothing brand, was launched in October 2020. Bhatt has been trying to expand the brand’s portfolio regularly in order to stay in the game. The brand’s product offerings include maternity wear, Ed-heads (teen wear), maternity-nursing wear and the most recent one being infant wear (0-3 years).

On the brand’s website, Bhatt says, “Ed-a-Mamma combines two things I care deeply about: our planet and children. So, I decided to create a world that nurtures in children, a love of nature, knowing fully well that they will look after what they love. And, I plan to do this with what I know best: telling stories. Everyone loves a good story. And, at Ed-a-Mamma, that’s what we do, tell stories.”

Iffat Jivan, COO, Ed-a-Mamma, talks to afaqs! about sustainable kids clothing, the brand’s expansion plans, international foray, consumer behaviour, and more.

Edited excerpts:

Can you talk to us about your brand’s positioning?

We've always wanted to be a brand that is sustainable, and safe for kids and mothers. The same ethos now reflects across every category that we launch.

Who are you targeting with your product offerings?

We’re targeting mothers with the maternity/infant wear launch. Earlier, we were looking at moms in the 28-40 age group. Now, we're even looking at younger mothers. Currently, the focus is on bringing in all mothers - right from the time they conceive, till their children are around 17.

Has the brand been able to crack Tier-II/III markets?

Initially, we focussed on metro/Tier-1 cities. Currently, a lot of traction is coming from Tier-II/III cities. On our website, we’ve seen an average order value going up to as high as Rs 12,000 for our maternity clothing.

Customers from smaller cities prefer to buy multiple products from our website. We’re seeing a huge shift towards Tier II/III cities.

How different are the needs of consumers in Tier-II/III markets versus Tier-I cities?

The consumers in Tier-I cities are more aware about organic clothing. In the infants category, we have a line of 100% certified organic, which is performing the best. It’s outperforming the regular line that is sustainable in Tier-I cities. In Tier-II/III cities, consumers are more conscious about pricing.

As far as the kidswear category goes, the consumers in Tier-I cities are more experimental, as compared to Tier-II/III cities, where they are more conservative. Also, the consumers in Tier II/III cities don’t like clothing that’s sleeveless or short.

Sustainable fashion is still a niche market in India. Is this a challenge for the brand?

The brand tries to break all stereotypes and barriers attached to sustainable clothing. The reason we've been able to scale up and establish a national presence, is purely because the brand is sustainable. The brand doesn't want the customer to pay a premium price just because the clothing is sustainable.

From the sourcing angle, yes, there are a few limitations. But over the last few years, the brand has consolidated even the supply chain part. Currently, the brand is looking at comfortable party wear for kids, which is sustainable.

Will you focus more on online or offline segment?

The brand is present across all e-commerce marketplaces like Myntra, Nykaa Fashion, Tata CLiQ, Flipkart, Amazon, etc.

Moving forward, in the next quarter, the brand's focus will shift towards establishing its retail presence.

Do you think e-commerce platforms have better scope for growth than offline stores?

The online segment is largely fuelled by discounts. Customers come in and look at products, expecting to get a fair amount of discount. In the retail segment, it’s more about selling the products at their actual (full) price.

Recently, the industry has seen a shift towards retail picking up. Customers are gravitating back towards malls and stores for shopping. This has affected online sales. We’re planning to focus more on the retail segment.

Our product offerings in retail is going to be distinctly different from what we're offering online.

Recently, the brand expanded its business by launching a kidswear collection via a shop-in-shop model. Do you plan to bring more such models?

The brand is looking at a minimum 60 shop-in-shops by the end of this financial year. The stores will have equal presence in all four corners of India.

What are you doing from an influencer marketing point of view?

The brand does celebrity influencer gifting, as a rule, at the start of every season. In addition, the brand is always looking for young moms or those who resonate with the brand. With the help of these influencers, the brand plans to build a community of moms.

Do consumers perceive your celeb-led brand, differently?

Yes, having Bhatt with us is a huge advantage. Now that she's a mom, it has kind of changed the story completely.

From a brand angle, Bhatt has never actively pushed the brand. She doesn’t want people to buy Ed-a-Mamma’s products just because she’s behind the brand. She wants the brand’s products to stand on their own. That’s why the brand was launched in the middle of the COVID pandemic in October 2020, without Bhatt. She came on-board after 6-7 weeks of the brand’s launch.

Is the brand planning an international foray?

The brand is already available in the US on the Amazon website. We will go live in the UAE by mid-May or the first week of June.

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