Omni channel retail transforming the furniture market

Finding an organized store in small cities or ordering furniture online is no more a herculean task. Read on to know more about the brands offering opportunities in this industry via franchising.

Omni channel retail transforming the furniture market

The Furnishing industry spans across the manufacturing and installation of a diverse array of interior and exterior structures from furniture and furnishings, to kitchens, cabinets, glass, window and doors and interior design, including flooring and picture framing. A growing trend to have the best & comfortable furniture has made this sector getting organized and brands are adapting more lucrative and feasible business models to expand their brand’s collaboration with designers, manufacturers and retailers. Getting the right furniture and furnishings which was a tough job earlier has now changed significantly due to the branded furniture and furnishing houses in every nook & cranny of India. Finding an organized store in small cities or ordering furniture online is no more a herculean task. Read on to know more about the brands offering opportunities in this industry via franchising.

‘Heart is where the Home is’ is an old adage but holds a lot of conviction as our affection and love for our homes is everlasting. Our abodes are supposed to be most comfortable places for us to relax and rejuvenate after the hardships of life. Undoubtedly the furniture and furnishings of any home make it more comfortable and lively and make our abode the right place for us. However choosing the right furniture as well as furnishings for home is a difficult task as an idea of an ideal home can be vary from one person to another. Therefore furnishings as well as furniture brands have an opportunity galore to tap this growing market.

The Indian furniture market is growing at a good pace and is expected to have strong growth in the upcoming years. It is expected to expand at a CAGR of 12.91 per cent during 2020-24. Western and Southern parts of India continue to be the leading revenue generators for the furniture sector in India. The reason for the growth of this sector is an increase in disposable income, the burgeoning middle class, and the growing number of urban households. Due to increase in the purchasing power, the demand for the designer as well as standardised furniture has also increased. This is one major factor that has made the organized market really progress in the furniture and furnishing sector in the last couple of years. Manoj Garg, Chief Executive Officer, Swayam says, “Growth of furniture and furnishings brands during the last few years as average is about 15-20 percent year-on- year. The premium furnishings brands with innovative designs have grown at a pace of 20-25 percent whereas brands with regular need driven products have grown at a pace of 10-15 percent.”


Pandemic being a ‘Blessing in Disguise’ for Organised Brands

COVID-19 surely was a ‘Blessing in Disguise’ for the organised brands in terms of sales and growth.   When the culture of work from home started, corporate people started looking for furniture for office work, students started looking for comfortable furniture for online classes. This surely increased the demand for furniture during lockdown. Talking about the furniture industry, 90 percent of the market was controlled by unorganised furniture shops. Only 10 percent of the market was organised. But COVID-19 changed the entire market scenario. After the government imposed lockdown, the whole unorganized F&F (Furniture and Furnishing) faced setback, which helped in the growth of organised furniture stores and people started preferring big brands to purchase furniture. Moreover, it was much before the pandemic that online sales of furniture had started with the coming up of big brands in this arena. Now, the organised market is slowly but steadily taking over the local F&F market. 

 Somesh Dokania, Director, Durian Industries Ltd shares, “While this sector is still unorganized, with the advent of e-commerce giants the paradigm shift has propelled the major players to reach out to more convenience oriented process of purchase for its audience. The last few years especially post the pandemic has been pivotal for brands who have shifted gears toward online stores and simultaneously creating immersive customer experience a priority.”


Major Brands in the F&F Arena


The last decade has seen the slow decline of the local carpenters and furnishing shops, giving rise to branded F&F brands. With consumers preferring to shop within the comfort of homes for furniture, it has taken the branded outlets to newer heights. While talking about online buying, brands like Pepperfry cannot be ignored. In 2012, Ambareesh Murty and Ashish Shah started omnichannel retail to launch Pepperfry, India’s leading e-commerce marketplace for furniture and home goods. It is one of the largest online furniture and decor companies. It is Mumbai based firm with 1.2 lakh products on its website. It is one of the largest omnichannel footprints present in India and has 70+ studious in 28 cities.


Another brand to reckon within the arena is Durian Furniture. Building on over 40 years of experience in wood and wooden products Durian has expanded its scope from being a plywood manufacturer in 1985 to a leading interior solutions company offering quality home and office furniture etc. The company has grown from scratch to strength with over 50 furniture stores, 8000 dealers, 9 manufacturing units, a central warehousing and logistics arm enabling the company to deal with customers and clients across the length and breadth of the country. Durian has also forayed into selling of products online through their own website and other e-commerce marketplaces. As shared by Somesh Dokania, “Durian as a brand has been able to provide it’s customer’s an amalgamation of a wide range of high quality products with intrinsic designs.  The emphasis is on reaching out to a larger customer base with the brand offerings specialization in terms of quality of materials, sustainable and scalable practices and aesthetics that are global yet timeless.”


One more iconic brand that has shaped the organised furnishing industry is Swayam India. With its tagline ‘Something Beautiful’ the brand has been beautifying homes since 1999. Swayam is one of India’s top-notch home fashion brand involved in the manufacturing of a wide range of Home Furnishing products.  As of now, its products are available in over 400+ counters in over 70+ cities across India. As per Manoj Garg, “Furniture and Furnishings Industry is one of the fastest growing segments which were hidden until now. Till a few years back the priorities of the people were different and mostly on the need basis rather than aspirational approach. However, with growing lifestyle, the demands of people have also increased, they aspire to buy something more innovative, and beautiful for their houses, it may be higher on the price part. To make a home look good, what’s needed is a superb interior with decent furniture and furnishings. Therefore, the need now has transformed itself to aspiration. Swayam has been one of the old and stable brands in the Home Furnishing segment.”

Another upcoming brand which is making its mark is Fanusta Global. Founded in 2016, Fanusta is a curated marketplace of home decor and furniture. It was born in the heritage heart of India, Jaipur, with a vision of rediscovering the lost Indian art and re-defining the individuality of craftspeople and their craft. As shared by Shailender Kumar, CEO, House of Fanusta, “The industry has a lot of potential in the entire Indian market. As India is a hub of culture and arts, the furniture and furnishing brands can provide a lot of variety and designs and with global brands coming to India, the consumers are also now provided with exposure to a wide range of products.”

While talking about F&F industry, the name of IKEA cannot be forgotten. IKEA is the player that initiated organised furnishing and furniture market globally. Spread all over the world, the brand has a passion for home furnishing and an inspiring shared vision: to create a better everyday life for the people. IKEA presently has 460 stores in more than 62 nations globally. It believes in offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low, that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. Besides these there are many other players in the F&F arena. To name a few Marshalls, Insta Décor, Atom Interiors, Cromatica, Woodniture, Homecity etc are all expanding pan India via franchising. 


Franchise taking F&F to Newer Heights


With IKEA business expanding rapidly in the early 1980s, IKEA Founder Ingvar Kamprad was looking for a way to grow the company internationally while maintaining its entrepreneurial spirit and safeguarding the underlying IKEA Concept. After researching the subject thoroughly, he came to the conclusion that a franchising system was the best alternative. Similarly other brands followed suit taking the clue from this. Sharing his views on franchising, Somesh Dokania, Durian says, “While the furniture sector remains mainly unorganized, franchisees help major players to reach out to more customers and a wider demographic across different parts of the country creating a convenience oriented process of purchase for its audience.” He further added, “We currently have 28 franchisees across the country in major tier 1 and tier 2 cities with 5 more franchisees in the process of setting shop. Durian is currently striving to increase foot hold pan India with creating multiple touch points for our customers in the form of brick and mortar stores and experience centres. The goal is to become the country’s top most interior solutions provider. Our goal is to create avenues that are fruitful for our partners and we aim the partner to get profitable return on his investments in 12-15 months.” Adding his thoughts on this, Manoj Garg of Swayam says, “Specifically, we would like to say that franchising of the Furnishing & Furniture brands holds great potential especially in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where brand penetration is least but the spending power still is good. It’s the only online market that has been able to reach in the Tier 3 cities easily because of easy visibility anywhere.”

Trends in F&F Sector

During the last couple of years the organised furniture and furnishing industry has grown tremendously. The change in customers preferring customized and personalized F&F has brought about this welcome change. Manoj Garg shares, “Upcoming trend is something that looks appealing yet comes with a new style. People don’t want ordinary, they want something different for their home, something that matches with their room décor. People have become more aware and prefer to have a boutique look for their home and spend a lot to ensure their desired look. Internet which is today at the fingertips gives a free chance to everyone to surf and find something that matches one’s taste. Sharing your curated room décor on social media and getting praises on it gives another level of happiness to one and helps in giving confidence to make something appealing.” Similarly Somesh Dokania says, “Trends propel customer experience over all else for furniture brands, constantly demanding them to grow and incorporate fresh new ideas and designs that are truly created for the modern family and it’s lifestyle should be the what we focus on. Furniture should be just as luxurious as it is intelligent and functional. We are surrounded by technology everywhere and the furnishing sector should be no exception.”  On the same lines Shailender Kumar, CEO, House of Fanusta said, “The upcoming trends are now moving more on sustainability and futuristic designs. People are becoming aware of their surroundings and the nature and want to make it a part of themselves and their homes. Sustainable and natural material have come in demand. It is a good thing that people are becoming aware of their own individual styles. This also provides the designers better scope for creativity and new experiments with different styles.”








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