India-based cosmetics and fashion retailer Nykaa has announced plans to increase its physical store network to 300 outlets, more than three times its current number.

The retailer is targeting 100 cities as part of its strategy to boost its offline presence in India.

It has not yet disclosed the timeline for this plan.

Nykaa currently operates 84 physical stores across 40 cities in the country.

In an interview for the Reuters Next conference broadcast, Nykaa founder and CEO Falguni Nayar said: “The process of store expansion had slowed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic for a year or so, but this year we have revived our store rollout.”

Nykaa primarily operates as an online platform, selling products from global brands.

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By GlobalData

Nayar said that through its offline stores, the retailer aims to target consumers who prefer to touch and feel products before purchasing.

The company had identified this consumer segment as an important aspect of its business.

Although e-commerce companies have seen rapid growth in the country’s retail market, many shoppers still prefer to purchase products from physical stores.

Nykaa is aiming to target India’s cosmetics and fashion market, which is currently valued at $70bn.

Last month, the retailer reported a 96% drop in its quarterly income due to the pandemic, as work-from-home rules had reduced the demand for cosmetics and apparel.

The market is expected to return to growth as Covid-19 restrictions are eased and the country’s festival and wedding seasons gain pace.

FSN E-Commerce Ventures is backed by private equity firms such as TPG and Fidelity.

Nykaa sources several products from Europe and intends to export more products from its own brands to the UK and Middle East.

In October, the company debuted on the stock market with a value of almost $14bn.

In July, Indian online retailer Flipkart raised $3.6bn to expedite its digital growth in India.