Flipkart goes offline with furniture, as did its rivals Pepperfry, Urban Ladder

  • Flipkart has announced a Furniture Experience Centre in Bengaluru.
  • With a 1,800 square feet space, Flipkart joins Pepperfry and Urban Ladder who had long before launched offline experience studios.
  • Flipkart is working with Google to launch Google Lens at these stores.
Indian online retail giant Flipkart has made its offline debut, announcing its furniture experience centre in Bengaluru. With this move, Flipkart is in direct competition with Pepperfry, Ikea, Urban Ladder.

"As a customer-focused organisation, we understand the requirements of customers and hence 'FurniSure'. The idea behind the FurniSure Experience Zone is to allow customers to explore Flipkart Furniture's offerings in a new and innovative fashion,” said Flipkart Vice-President (Furniture, Electronics and Private Label) Adarsh Menon.

The retailer is also working with Google to integrate Google Lens at these stores for a better viewing experience for the consumers.

Flipkart’s decision to open a 1,800 square feet experience centre comes at an important time in the country’s furniture industry. Swedish furniture giant Ikea is expanding its presence in India, both online and office. Ikea launched its first store in Hyderabad in 2018. Even before its second massive store in Mumbai opens, it has started taking orders online.

On the other hand, online furniture marketplaces too realised the need to go offline. Pepperfry had launched its first offline studio in 2014. Since then, they expanded to 65 studios across 28 cities. In fact, in every city that Pepperfry has launched a studio, the sales had doubled.

“While we don’t sell directly through our offline studios, they contribute significantly to our sales. Close to 40% of our overall turnover comes from the online bookings made at these studios,” Mihir Kulkarni, Vice President and Head of Omnichannel expansion, Pepperfry told Business Insider in an earlier interview.

Meanwhile Urban Ladder, which had reported losses of ₹4.59 billion in 2016-17 and ₹1.17 billion in 2017-18, too believes that the omni-channel strategy with offline retail points would help turn their story around.
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