Snapdeal snaps up online retailer Exclusively, India's largest online marketplace, has acquired online destination for premium and luxury fashion (formerly for an undisclosed sum. The company expects the buy to further strengthen its fashion business and help it reach $2 billion in gross merchandise value in the fashion category this year.

"We have witnessed a surge in the demand from consumers across the country for premium and luxury products. However, given that access to luxury brands is severely limited in our country, we have brought `Exclusively' into our family to provide our 40 million+ users the access to widest range of aspirational, high end products and services," said Kunal Bahl, co-founder and CEO of

Exclusively will complement Snapdeal's existing ecosystem and will provide a consolidated offering for the luxury and lifestyle shopper, making it India's first online luxury mall, the company said in its release.

Exclusively will continue to function as an independent site and all aspects of Exclusively's online shopping experience will remain intact, with new collection and service augmentations in the pipeline.

At present, Exclusively retails hundreds of India's leading designers on its site. These include collections from Manish Malhotra, Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Arora, Anita Dongre, Rohit Bal, Gaurav Gupta, JJ Valaya, Ritu Kumar, Varun Bahl, Shivan & Narresh and Neeta Lulla among others.

In 2015, Exclusively plans to launch leading international luxury brands and designers on the site.

''The partnership with Snapdeal comes at the right time. With increased awareness and growing disposable incomes, premium and luxury consumption in India is seeing a significant upward trend. With the geographical limitations of the brick-and-mortar model, we strongly believe that the luxury and premium segments can only be grown by sharing access with the consumer," said Sunjay Guleria, co-founder of Exclusively.

"With Exclusively's fashion experience and Snapdeal's scale of operations, we look forward to not just servicing large metros, but also the aspirational demand in smaller towns across India," added Mohini Boparai-Guleria, co-founders of Exclusively.

Luxury products and services is a $14-bn market in India, growing at 30 per cent year-on-year, according to a KPMG-ASSOCHAM report. More than 70 per cent consumers want to shop for luxury products in India rather than abroad.