Two weeks after the launch of its first private label for women’s ethnic wear Divastri, Flipkart Fashion launched a private label named Metronaut for men’s smart casual wear and accessories.

Positioned as an aspirational brand, Metronaut offers a choice of tees, shirts, jeans, belts, wallets and sunglasses in 300 styles.

Vice-President, Fashion at Flipkart, Rishi Vasudev told BusinessLine

“Metronaut is a combination of Metro + Astronaut, with the black and white logo designed to resemble a spaceship. The brand is targetted at youth migrating to metros with hopes and dreams about building a bright future for themselves.”

The label currently has a selection of denims, t-shirts, shirts and accessories such as belts, wallets and sunglasses. It will be extended to include other products like footwear and backpacks. For Flipkart, men’s footwear is among the top-selling categories. The platform launched a women’s private label in the ethnic wear category earlier this month.

Metronaut as a brand will be retailed by a single seller, RetailNet which has outsourced the manufacturing.

At present, Flipkart has 35 per cent market share of the overall fashion e-commerce market and along with Myntra and Jabong, the firm leads with 70 per cent share of the fashion e-commerce market in India.

On the estimated demand for Metronaut, Vasudev said: “Apparel is a one-lakh-crore market wherein, sub-₹1,000 apparel constitutes 60 per cent of the demand. While there are strong global men’swear brands and home-grown brands with popular product lines, there is a huge opportunity to offer a high-quality, well-designed, affordable product line that will take on the unorganised market — that’s where Metronaut comes in,” said Vasudev, who also pointed out men are increasingly shopping for style rather than utility. Metronaut tees are priced between ₹350–550, shirts are ₹750– 800, jeans are sub-₹1,000 and so on, all designed by an in-house team. E-tailers are introducing private labels as the higher margins they get from private labels will steer them to the path of profitability in a business where margins are wafer thin. Myntra has 14 in-house brands including its largest selling ₹300-crore-brand Roadster.

Metronaut tees are priced between ₹350–550, shirts are ₹750– 800, jeans are sub-₹1,000 and so on, all designed by an in-house team. E-tailers are introducing private labels as the higher margins they get from private labels will steer them to the path of profitability in a business where margins are wafer thin. Myntra has 14 in-house brands including its largest selling ₹300-crore-brand Roadster.

Flipkart is up against cross-town rival, Amazon which has already launched its private labels — Symbol for men’s Western formals last September, followed by Myx for women’s Indian wear in December. In a recent interaction with BusinessLine, Arun Sirdeshmukh, Head -Amazon Fashion, India, said the e-tailer aims to be the single-largest destination for fashion in India and is rapidly approaching that goal, with Fashion notching up the highest in unit sales.

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