New Delhi, Aug 17 :
Owning a designer Pakistani
ensemble is no more a distant dream. Pakistan's leading retail store
Labels has launched its online portal and offers 50 designers on its
The timing is just right to launch an online
one-stop-shop such as this, says Labels CEO Zahir Rahimtoola
targeting fashionistas worldwide.
When it comes to online
shopping, especially clothes, buyers are sceptical - what the eyes see
and the hands feel can't be satisfied by the virtual medium.
Rahimtoola, who has 16 years' experience in the business of fashion,
says technology has helped e-businesspersons to overcome that insecurity
to some extent.
"Thanks to advanced technology, a buyer can zoom
into the minute details of an outfit to get a virtual feel. Having said
that, there is nothing to beat the real feel," Rahimtoola told IANS in a
e-mail interview from Karachi.
"However, since there is a huge
worldwide Indo-Pak population
that does not have access to stores,
virtual feel is the next best thing. Indeed, the time is ripe for
e-stores," he added.
"Indians and Pakistanis have a very similar
mindset when it comes to shopping. India, being a larger market and
having a huge transient population, is able to innovate and adapt
quicker to constantly changing international fashion trends.
"But, we too are catching up, thanks to the social networking sites," he said.
increased demand for outfits from Pakistan encouraged Rahimtoola to
shape up his plans of taking the virtual route to reach out to the
"We have been getting numerous requests over the
years to ship out orders to individual overseas customers. However, we
resisted doing so as we wanted to do things professionally.
a lot of Indian and Pakistan clothing is sold through small exhibitions
all over the world. But these collections are relatively small, hence
an e-store makes great sense as a buyer can review a huge inventory
which is fresh and rightly priced, and have it delivered at his/her
doorstep within days," he added, saying international consumers would
get their parcel within two to three working days.
creations from as many as 50 Pakistani designers
- from veterans to
budding fashion designers. All the designs are available on their
e-store www.labelsestore.com, with prices starting from 1,000 Pakistani
The store has tied up with international courier service
DHL to deliver garments anywhere in the world at the store price. All
one has to pay is courier charges and custom duties, if any, into the
"All items are being legally
exported/imported. So, depending upon the local laws of the importing
countries, they may attract custom duties. However, this is still a
better bet than paying a 100 to 200 percent mark-up at small informal
sales and exhibitions," he explained.
Rahimtoola also assures he has taken care of the "biggest worry" -- the right fit.
the right size and fit always worries the consumers. You can say it is
the biggest challenge every online portal faces. So, we have tried our
best that every outfit is (properly) measured before it is photographed
and uploaded, to ensure that the buyer gets the right fit," he said.
is a huge catch in shopping at www.labelsestore.com - unlike most
shopping portals, this one has neither a return nor an exchange policy
for international buyers.
Explaining why, Rahimtoola said: "It is
simply because any return of product is treated as an import and
attracts custom duties. Therefore, we have tried to ensure maximum
visibility of the outfit to the online buyer.
"We also have a
live chat option where a customer can ask details from our
representative. And, at times, if tweaking in measurements are required,
we can make slight alterations to get the right fit. This is a
free-of-cost service, but the onus is on the buyer (for us) to provide
correct measurement."© IANS