In a shocker of a news, Aditya Birla Group’s fashion e-commerce platform Abof.com has decided to shut its shop by the end of 2017, according to a report in the Economic Times.

Aditya Birla Online Fashion started its operations two years ago in October 2015. The platform lists clothing and accessories for men and women, both from Aditya Birla’s brands as well as clothing curated from other brands. Last year, global ecommerce giant Amazon ended up adding Abof.com as a seller on its marketplace.

Reportedly, the company has already informed all of its 240 employees about the decision and has finalised December 31, 2017 as its last day of operations. The employees have an option of either accepting four-and-half months’ salary as a severance package and leave the organisation or continue being a part of the Aditya Birla Group in some other department other than Abof. Reportedly, November onwards they will also start closing down their stocks.

Aditya Birla’s director of human resources Santrupt Misra confirmed ET about the development. He further shared that the news shouldn’t come as much of a shock since most ecommerce players in the country are currently finding it hard to survive and it is time to realise that there’s something wrong with the segment.

Aditya Birla Group started Abof saying the platform would not offer discounts and, instead, sell a more limited and fashionable range of merchandise. In an interview in March, chief executive Prashant Gupta had told ET that their “target consumer is not the guy who is looking for a deal”.

Interestingly, Aditya Birla had earlier launched another e-commerce platform called TrendIN.com in 2013. The group used the platform to sell its in-house brands such as Van Heusen, Louis Philippe, Allen Solly, Pantaloons, People, Peter England and Planet Fashion. However, it ended up shutting down this platform and started its separate online platforms for individual brands.

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