Flipkart bets big on Furniture in 2016

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Online marketplace leader, Flipkart recently released a detail analytic study of its customers in 2015 called Fliptrends, where the furniture category got its fair share of attention. After entering the home decor and furniture segment in 2015, it is now aiming to make further inroads into the industry. Flipkart has revealed furniture to be one of its seven fastest growing categories. 

“With the furniture and furnishings market in India valued at $20 billion today, this is emerging as a big category for us. There is sufficient room for horizontal and vertical players. We offer a wide range of furniture on possibly the biggest platform available today. The moot question is whether businesses are able to give customers the best value proposition,” said Anil Goteti, VP (retail), Flipkart.

Furniture forecast

Large furniture has become increasingly popular in the South of India, accounting for more than 50% of Flipkart’s sales. Cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad are the largest consumers, while Delhi NCR and Mumbai are following in hot pursuit. Another trend slowly emerging is the demand for furniture by the younger population, who are generally associated with electronics and fashion purchases.

Popular furniture for younger audience:

  • 2-seater sofas
  • Coffee tables
  • Queen beds

“Youngsters do not have time to visit a showroom and inspect furniture. They look at making such choices by looking up online and relying on the seller for the quality of the product,” reasoned Goteti.

Others in the race

Whatever Flipkart is planning, you can be assured that Snapdeal and Amazon are not far away. Amazon even raised the bar, by claiming to have opened India’s largest online furniture store in 2015. Elsewhere, etailers like Pepperfry, Urban Ladder and Fabfurnish left their indelible mark and are certain to spring a few more surprises this year. The rental furniture business is also slowly being explored by start-ups, while webrooming is seen as the major threat to the industry.

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