If you are confused about your next home improvement and need expert advice, you can head to Pepperfry’s soon to be opened studios. The leading online furniture marketplace will open ten new concept stores by the end of this year. The company’s first such store was opened in Mumbai in 2014, and currently it has ten stores across Bangalore, Chennai, Gurgaon and Kolkata. The current set of studios are planned in cities like Noida, Kochi and Ahmedabad.
The idea of its ‘Studio Pepperfry’ is to give customers the experience of the product and expert advice, not sale. Ashish Shah, the company’s co-founder and COO explains,
“Before making any purchase, the consumer would do a lot of research and consulting with friends and family. Through the studio, we enter into the consumer journey early, where they can see and feel the products. The store doesn’t have salesmen but interior designers who help the customers make the right choice.”
The move is to aid the company in its plan to break even by mid-2018.
Analysts feel that this might be a smart move. Sreedhar Prasad, ecommerce partner at KPGM, feels,
“an online store like Pepperfry is able to reach (out) to those (customers) who may not necessarily always buy online and especially those who don’t buy online at all.”
Pepperfry is taking its main contender (Urban Ladder) head on with this move. Shah is confident about his company’s undisputed leadership in the industry,
“We (Pepperfry) believe that we are the leading player in this (furniture) segment (in India), as compared to other competition. And with more players entering the market only means that the unorganised segment that furniture is, will get more organised and we’ll continue to have a large share of the market.”
However, the success of a non-hybrid yet hybrid store will remain to be seen.
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