Catching Up

How International Label Pomelo Fashion Conquered S'pore - And They Have No Plans On Slowing Down

The fashion scene is a highly competitive scene but that isn’t stopping people from jumping onto that bandwagon.

In Singapore alone, there are over 300 blogshops, and this is not inclusive of the larger players like Lazada and eBay. Given the saturation of the market, one would have to wonder how players find their competitive advantage at all.

But in the case of one particular brand, they believe that they have found that sweet spot.

Fast Fashion First

Pomelo Fashion is a fashion platform that launched in Thailand in 2014, but don’t mistake them for a Thai brand. The team views themselves as an international brand, and they’ve made it happen, with a reach in Singapore.

When they arrived in Singapore September 2014, the platform had almost 10,000 registered members, and was expected to a 10x increase by March 2015.

Today, Vice President of Retail and PR – Salisa Landy – reveals that they have been enjoying a “double digit growth quarter on quarter in both revenue and visitors in Singapore since 2014.”

This is because of they differentiate themselves from the rest – by branding themselves as a “fast fashion brand first and e-tailer second.”

VP of Retail and PR Salisa Landy

“Ultimately people are looking for great clothes when they are shopping for fashion. People buy into the brand and products, not that fact that we are an e-commerce company.”

“So, focusing on building a strong fashion brand that can deliver on-trend fashion at affordable prices makes sense.” 

And in terms of competition, Salisa reveals that they are not too worried about blogshops like popular site Love Bonito.

“We’re not a blogshop,” she begins. “We’re an International Fast Fashion brand, born in Asia, but with our HQ in Bangkok.”

“While sites like Love Bonito are more targeted to working women, Pomelo is fast fashion, always on the go and always on trend.”

An Offline Evolution

Pomelo Fashion does not have a Singapore office so everything ships from Thailand. But for shoppers who prefer to know that their clothes are nearby, we just found out that Pomelo Fashion has launched an offline space in Tangs, Orchard.

Launched just a few days ago, the space paints a pretty picture in the department store.

Image Credit: The Pomelo Fashion Team
Image Credit: The Pomelo Fashion Team

In terms of shipping, the team does not find the cross-border logistics to be an impediment. Instead, Salisa describes the arrangement as “beneficial“.

“We do not have to bear the cost of a warehouse [here] and with the scale that we have, we are able to have good efficiency in shipment even though it is coming from Thailand,” she remarked.

A Question Of Money, Namely… $11 million

In 2016, Pomelo Fashion raised a closetful of cash – a pre-Series A and Series A total of $11 million, both of which were led by local VC firm Jungle Ventures.

So what exactly happened to the money? Although I wasn’t able to extract exact figures, Salisa described that the money would be used to boost their scale.

Part of the cash went into team development and brand awareness. But she notes that they recently developed infrastructure that would allow them to be 100% vertically integrated.

“Fundamentally, we are just working on delivering the best customer experience,” she stated plainly.

“eCommerce is clearly approaching a tipping point in Southeast Asia, and we’re lucky to be one of the leaders in the fast-growing fashion vertical,” founder Jou had remarked in a previous interview, and it certainly looks like they are on track to stay that way.

Founder David Jou / Image Credit: The Pomelo Team

A Vision For The Future

Their vision has not veered off course, shared Salisa.

“We are still building the first global fast fashion brand for a digital world always on-trend and affordable for all. In order to do that, we need to continue to deliver the best products and customer experience.”

“While continuing to improve on business fundamentals, we also look for growth opportunities such as new markets/channel expansions and product category expansions.”

Featured Image Credit: Nation Multimedia

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