Valentine’s Week Sale: Pacts with Zepto, Blinkit, Swiggy supercharge gifting biz, says Archies’ Varun Moolchandani

Valentine’s Week Sale: Love is in the air, and so are gifts! This year, however, there’s more than just chocolates and roses to look forward to. Archies, the iconic gifting brand, has tied up with platforms like Blinkit, Swiggy Instamart, and Zepto. The partnerships are helping the social expression industry leader to make love letters, cuddly toys, and even balloons available at your doorstep in minutes. And the results are already visible. The company witnessed a phenomenal 28% growth in January alone. In an exclusive interview with Livemint, Archies’ Executive Director Varun Moolchandani sheds light on the company’s future expansion plans, reveals shifts in customer preferences, and shares his thoughts on what makes the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Edited Excerpts:

What are some key gifting trends you expect to see this year, considering the evolving preferences of Indian consumers? Are cards still relevant?

With e-greetings and WhatsApp messages, the trend of giving cards has definitely taken a hit. Archies recorded around 3.75 lakh cards sold in 2023 around Valentine’s and we are expecting over 5 lakh pieces of cards to be sold during the same period. This clearly indicates an uptick despite the hit that cards have seen. Coming to trends, people’s gifting habits have still the same since Archies’ inception as per our data. Earlier people were only interested in gifting on Valentine’s Day, now they are celebrating Valentine’s week with equal enthusiasm.

How has this Valentine’s week fared so far for Archies and what is your expected growth? What are the new trends seen in the gifting business?

Archies witnessed a growth of 28 per cent in January alone (YoY) basis, we expect a growth of 20- 30 per cent growth in February this year from last year around Valentine’s. Additionally, about 80 per cent of January 2024 growth can be credited to quick commerce deliveries. We have partnered with Blinkit, Swiggy Instamart, and Zepto to make Archies available on doorsteps. This step has supercharged our gifting business and is expected to grow exponentially. Archies recorded around 6 crore sales till early February through Blinkit alone. Additionally, around 6 per cent of total sales came from other quick commerce – Instamart and Zepto.

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How is Archies’ demand distributed across India?

While Tier I cities were dominated by quick commerce collaborations, Tier II and Tier III cities are dominated by offline stores and the demand there has been overwhelming. About 60 per cent of our major business comes from North India, 20 per cent comes from West India, 10 per cent from South India and 10 per cent from East India. 

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What is the most common thing people are ordering from Archies via quick commerce?

We have seen a high demand for gift wrapping materials, paper bags, and envelopes on quick commerce. To date, we have sold over 18 lakh pieces on quick commerce. It has been just 3 months since we joined hands with the quick delivery services platforms.

Also Read | From self-love to financially savvy: 6 ways to make the most of Valentine’s Day as a single

What are your future expansion plans?

We are planning to launch the Archies brand overseas. We are mulling over offline stores, e-commerce and other platforms. Our first destination for international expansion is going to be in the Middle East with the UAE in focus.



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Published: 09 Feb 2024, 05:00 PM IST

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