Fashion accessory startup Zouk is gearing up for significant growth in the coming year, with a focus on expanding its offline presence and entering international markets. The company, founded by IIM Ahmedabad batchmates Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar, recently secured $3 million in funding from investors such as Stellaris Venture Partners and Deutsche Bank India CEO Dilip Khandelwal. With the successful launch of its flagship store in Mumbai, Zouk is now planning to open more brand outlets to complement its online presence and cater to the evolving needs of conscious consumers.
Zouk operates in the bags, wallets, and footwear categories, positioning itself as a vegan brand committed to ethical and responsible products. The startup aims to open five exclusive brand outlets this year, strategically located in key cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, and Ahmedabad. These offline stores will not only enhance brand visibility but also provide customers with a tangible space to explore Zouk’s offerings and engage with its brand story.
While the startup continues to focus on its direct-to-consumer (D2C) website, which accounts for about 60% of its business, Zouk also plans to expand its presence on marketplaces. By leveraging customer data from its D2C site, the company aims to select locations for its upcoming stores based on customer preferences and strong customer bases. Bags remain Zouk’s top category, and the company intends to further widen its collection in this segment while also expanding its footwear offerings.
Looking beyond the domestic market, Zouk has set its sights on international expansion. The startup plans to enter the US and Canada markets through marketplaces, tapping into the growing demand for fashion-forward and responsible products in these regions. Additionally, Zouk intends to appoint a brand ambassador to strengthen its brand presence and engage with a wider audience.
To support its ambitious growth plans, Zouk is actively hiring talent across various functions, including brand marketing, sales, digital, distribution, and offline teams. The company’s capital efficiency allows it to invest in top-notch talent and build a strong foundation for its expansion.
With a well-defined growth blueprint for FY24, Zouk is poised to make significant strides in the fashion accessory industry. By combining its online and offline presence, expanding its product range, and venturing into international markets, Zouk aims to cater to the diverse needs of fashion-conscious consumers while maintaining its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.