‘Fostering faith’: India’s Fitday on quest for country-wide offline retail expansion despite COVID-19

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fitday has three retail stores in Hyderabad. ©Fitday
Fitday has three retail stores in Hyderabad. ©Fitday

Related tags: India, retail channels, omnichannel

Indian supplement brand and retailer Fitday is expanding its offline retail presence across the country, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company, which is an offshoot of Genomelabs, sells supplements across various categories, including vitamins, minerals, sports nutrition, weight management, herbs and Ayurveda products.

The supplements are developed and manufactured by its parent company, which also owns other supplement brands such as Floney, Super Diet, and GINST 15.

In Fitday’s retail stores, its in-house supplements and those from other brands GNC, Fast&Up, Nutrazee, and Akiva can also be found.

Fitday currently operates three retail stores in Hyderabad, as well as online.

Founder of Fitday Suresh Raju told NutraIngredients-Asia ​that the company has been working on opening new stores in Mumbai and Bengaluru and the eventual goal was to expand to the whole of India.

He believes that offline retail presence is crucial, even with the possibility of reduced foot traffic due to COVID-19. 

“The pandemic is here to stay for a while, and we are moving with the tide.

“Our efforts at expanding Fitday have now come to the forefront, and we are progressing while keeping in accordance with the regulations established during the pandemic.

“A retail store in conjunction with an online portal fosters the faith in a company, and the product lines it carries,”​ he said.  

The company has chosen Mumbai and Bengaluru as the locations for expansion as both have a diverse crowd and a higher population density.

Due to COVID-19, he said immunity-boosting products from the vitamin, minerals portfolio, as well as organic foods had seen a higher uptake.

Kids nutrition, honey, and Ayush Kwath, a powder supplement made from ayurvedic herbs tulsi, tvak, shunti, and maricha, are the other bestsellers. 

Aside from Fitday, other supplement brands are also eyeing growth in the offline retail space.

Qualitas Health, a US-based algae omega-3 manufacturer, said it was planning to sell its products in both offline and online retail​ in India during August.  

However, there are also brands which are adopting only digital channels, mainly because of challenges in finding local partners.

Swisse is an example which has decided on an all-digital entry in India, starting with Amazon India​.

Experience before purchase

According to Suresh, offline retail is important because it allows consumers to try the products before purchase. 

He said the stores were run by nutrition counsellors who were also food and nutrition degree holders. Their role includes assessing consumers’ health metrics, such as their BMI, lean mass distribution, and overall health check-up.

They then help to craft health goals and recommend suitable products, instead of selling popular products to them without assessing their needs. 

He said such as strategy has offered a reason for consumers to revisit the stores to clarify their needs and sought customised nutrition.

“We are an omnichannel company. Our customers, irrespective of their choice to visit the store, prefer the option of there being a store available to visit, should they choose to use that option. 

“We also have a client relationship management system, where our clients can schedule a time to visit our store and the Nutrition Counsellor.”

 

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