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FashionAndYou Shuts Down UrbanTouch.com; CEO Abhishek Goyal Quits

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(By Vikas SN & Nikhil Pahwa)

Online fashion and beauty retailer Urban Touch, which was acquired by FashionAndYou.com last August for a reported $30 million, has shut shop, and UrbanTouch founder Abhishek Goyal, who had joined FashionAndYou as CEO following the acquisition, has quit the company, MediaNama has learned from reliable sources. We’ve also heard from sources that several members of the UrbanTouch team who had joined FashionAndYou are currently looking for jobs. At the time of the acquisition, it was reported that around 200 people had joined FashionAndYou from UrbanTouch. Our sources say that there was clear disagreements between the UrbanTouch and FashionAndYou teams following the acquisition, and that this is an e-commerce acquisition that didn’t quite work out.

Note that we haven’t been able to confirm these developments from Smile Group founder Harish Bahl has also declined to comment on the development, as well as Goyal, who has been travelling, despite repeated attempts to contact him since yesterday, and requests for confirmation via SMS.


Update: It appears that IndiaDigitalReview had broken the story on UrbanTouch.com being shut down yesterday.

On Shutting Down UrbanTouch.com

UrbanTouch.com is currently displaying a redirection message, informing visitors that its operations have now been integrated with Fashionandyou.com and for enquiries related to existing orders, users can contact the company’s customer care department. It has also linked out to Fashionandyou.com website at the bottom of the note. Note that at the time of the acquisition, Goyal had said that both the portals will continue to operate as two distinct websites but will have cross linkages, but after seven months of the acquisition, the company has shut down UrbanTouch.

Founded in January 2011, UrbanTouch offered products across various categories like apparel, jewelry, bags, footwear and makeup and beauty products  among others.

UrbanTouch FashionAndYou

E-Commerce Consolidation

As we said earlier, the e-commerce segment has been undergoing severe turbulence in the country, with companies running out of cash, investors merging their e-commerce portfolio companies to reduce the cash burn and the legality of some businesses is in question since the FDI policy hasn’t worked in favor of E-commerce in India.

Last month, it was officially revealed that e-commerce major Flipkart was launching a marketplace, and was looking to sign up external sellers for the launch of its marketplace. Following this, Flipkart had sold its front end retail operations WS Retail to a group of investors led by former OnMobile COO Rajiv Kuchhal.

Online private labels Zovi and Inkfruit had also merged last month and the joint entity had raised $10 million funding from SAIF Partners and Tiger Global.

In November 2012, Myntra had acquired Exclusively.in and its private label Sher Singh in a cash and equity deal. The company had stated that following the acquisition, the Sher Singh brand of products will be exclusively sold on Myntra.com and shersingh.com, although the SherSingh website was down for maintenance at the time of writing this article. Myntra had stated that Sher Singh’s senior management team along with its employees will be joining Myntra and help strengthen Myntra’s private label portfolio.

In April 2012, Snapdeal.com had acquired Esportsbuy.com, an online retailer of sports and fitness equipment and had shut it down two months after the acquisition. Similarly, Flipkart had also acquiredone of its competitors Letsbuy.com in a cash-and-equity deal in February 2012 and had shut it down in May 2012.

Lapis Marketing Pvt Ltd which operates a baby care product company Hushbabies.com had acquiredMangoStreet.com in August 2012 and shut it down later while e-commerce venture Fashionandyou.com had acquired online fashion and beauty retailer Urban Touch for $30 million in the same month.

On a positive note though, Broadcaster NDTV had stated its plans to enter e-commerce segment through its subsidiary NDTV Worldwide Ltd last month. It had also appointed Fashion And You co-founder, Rahul Narvekar to head the company’s e-commerce operations. We had heard from sources that the venture will target Indian diaspora with ethnic wear but its not clear yet if the company is setting up an online commerce business, or a new TV Channel, with home shopping, on the lines of STAR CJ and HomeShop18, but we’ve heard from sources that the venture will target Indian diaspora with ethnic wear.

Do read our white paper explaining the Structuring of Foreign Direct Investments In eCommerce in India.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/B7DEDTTFWR7KFU32CYQ6MRFUNM Preashi

    Ohh no….. Urban touch had so many good beauty products. I am the regular buyer in Urban touch, mostly the nail art products are damn good.. Its too bad for me now.. :-(

  • neha

    I love UrbanTouch soo much.There’s no other website like UT.I have visited a few other online cosmetic stores,but nothing could match with UT.The amazing number of brands and products it had,awesome products from brands like Tatha,Vedic Line and hundreds of such brands in products ranging from nail products(i loved their nail colors),hair products(the hair styling tools,hair care products and many others in this section which helped me a lot),the eye products(amazing eye care products,eye make up products were too good and we know that),skin care products(best packs,wide range of moisturizers,sunscreens,toners,cleansers and a long list goes on including the make up products),feet care products,lip care products(their lip colors were really good). Their jewellery range which was beyond words,not even websites that are dedicated to selling only jewellery can sell such amazing and wide range of products in jewellery which UT did.The neck pieces(dont forget the various models of pendants,they had-owl,glasses,camera,etc.),the ear rings,finger rings,bracelets,hair jewellery,brooches,etc and their hair accessories like the really soft and high quality elastics,hair bands,etc.).Their bags were also no less better than the other products.The awesome 3 mad chicks sling backs(it had a lot of their collection in the beginning,but they slowly got sold out i guess.),Fliorelli bags,Ivory tag bags,etc. were all so good.The apparel was also quite appreciable.My sister,me and my entire family have been loyal customers with UT and their services which were the best.We once had a cousin’s wedding and my sister needed some products to be delivered in just two days,which were actually to be delivered a little more later and guess what,like no other website(read: FashionandYou.com),they delivered it in two days,with the same shipping charges.And their packing?Oh.I’m going to miss those pretty black boxes so much.I don’t understand,how the CEO and others at UT sold it to a website like FNU,without considering the probable risks involved in such a transaction.Coming back to FNU,we have been a good enough customers of FNU,which sells good clothes(I know they sell some other products too,but never bothered to take a look at them),but isn’t great at services.they charge a shipping amount of Rs.100/-,no matter how much is the cost of the product we’re purchasing.And,the time of delivery is no less than a month,which is like too much.I’m sure,a lot of other customers,like us will agree with me on the fact that such websites don’t earn a great fan base,also given the ‘sales’ process that it works on.So,how could such a website(FNU),which cannot even manage to have a proper service system,think of buying another website as good as UT?No wonder,they shut it down,after realizing that they won’t be able to live up to the expectations and fulfill the requirements of the customer at UT.But,hoping against hope,that UT returns back and with the same products,same brands,same range,same prices,same quality,same services and the same cute black boxes.FNU can never be trusted with services and prices,as they claim to be holding ‘sales’ on their website,but the prices seem to be almost original and high.Don’t know how exactly they define sales.But,FNU,we request you to give our UT back to us and if anybody from the UT team is reading this,then you better understand that losing a trusted customer base,is a HUGE loss to you as a brand despite the fact that you are currently a non-functioning group.And,you people have always worked hard just to ensure that your customers are happy and satisfied,but this step of yours has taken all that back.Please understand this and kindly take an appropriate action,which is to only bring UT back the same old way.Please UT and FNU.

  • http://twitter.com/oureducationin oureducation

    There are still players who are doing good business and have an amazing support. you may try beautykafe.com

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