The lucrative property prices that are leading many retailers into an aggressive expansion mode notwithstanding, Mumbai-based Nilkamal Group-promoted home maker store @home store has adopted a ‘wait and watch’ mode on its expansion plan, despite the furniture retailing arm of the group having posted a growth of 30 per cent year-on-year, said Manish Parekh, managing director, @ home.
“The sentiments of the consumers are badly hit and with the insecurity prevailing among working class, everyone has turned into saving mode. This has caused a dip in the footfalls at all the retail stores,” said Parekh.
With 15 stores across India, @home claims to have a skilled in-house team of designers to assist customers with their interior planning solutions with proprietary 3-D imaging software. Each store, spreading across an average retail space of 20,000 to 30,000 square feet, is company-owned. Further, the company denies adopting the franchisee model in near future. “As of now all our stores are company-owned and we may open few more stores in the next financial year depending on the market sentiments. However, we don’t have plans to adopt franchisee model for expansion as of now,” added Parekh. When asked about the exact number of proposed stores, Parekh declined to comment.
The retailer having strong presence in west and south India, plans to further concentrate on the region. “We are doing a good business in west and south India, where most of our stores are located and we further plan to penetrate deeper in the same region,” added Parekh. Commenting on the company’s plan for east and north India, he said, “Currently we are not looking at east India but certainly, we are planning to increase our foothold in north India.”
The early part of the new financial year may also see the company launching its CRM initiative.
— Shailesh Shah