Walmart-backed Flipkart is expanding the furniture category on its platform with the introduction of new sub-brand ‘Pure Wood’ as it looks to compete aggressively against not just its arch-rival Amazon but also IKEA in the Indian market.
According to a PTI report: Flipkart has partnered with solid wood furniture makers in cities like Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan for Pure Wood, which would be under its private label ‘Perfect Homes’. The collection named Amer, Mehrangarh, Nahargarh, Taragarh and Jaisalmer will be priced between Rs 5,000-70,000.
E-commerce companies focus on private labels because they offer higher margins and enable better control of inventory.
“If you see the furniture market in India, it is about US$ 15 billion in size. And yet, 90 percent of it is unorganised. Of the 10 percent that is organised, online players take up only 10-15 percent, so there is a huge scope of growth,” Shivani Suri, Senior Director (Private Labels), Flipkart was quoted by PTI as saying.
She added that estimates (internal and industry) suggest that online channels will account for 25-30 percent of the organised furniture market by 2020.
While she declined to comment on revenue targets, Suri said Pure Wood and Perfect Homes would contribute significantly to the topline from the furniture category.
“Furniture is a difficult category. It’s not just about offering the ‘touch and feel’ experience, customers are looking for quality, durability and affordability. Using consumer insights from our platform, we are getting top designs in quality products at affordable prices for the customer,” she told PTI.
Asked about competition from Swedish giant IKEA, which recently launched its store in Hyderabad, Suri pointed out that the opportunity in the Indian market is huge.
“I don’t want to comment on competition, I’m sure they have their own strategy in place. We are focussed on bringing an expansive range to customers, quality products that are affordable, accessible across India with a great service promise,” she was further quoted by PTI as saying.
IKEA set up its first store in India last month and has plans to open 25 stores by 2025. It is also looking to enter the e-commerce segment by next year, besides exploring small format stores as part of its expansion plans in the country.
Within the online category, Flipkart competes with its American rival Amazon as well as players like Urban Ladder and Pepperfry.
The launch of the new range also comes ahead of Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale that is slated for next month.
Suri said furniture under Perfect Homes are available with FurniSure – a certification to assure customers of the quality and durability of the products.
The certification, she claimed, is offered after a rigorous test process conducted through NABL-accredited testing laboratories, including Intratek, MTS, BV, and SGS.