Germany’s Villeroy & Boch Plans Online Sales in India
New Delhi: Germany-based ceramics company Villeroy & Boch will start selling its products online in India in the next 12 to 18 months.
Villeroy & Boch, which was set up in 1748, sells bath and wellness and tableware products. It has been operating in India through a joint venture arrangement with Genesis Luxury for the past three years.
“We are considering the option of selling online in India, and will do so in the 12 to 18 months, or maybe earlier,” said Nicolas Luc Villeroy, head of the tableware division of the company and the seventh generation member of the Villeroy family. “We are analysing the two options of selling through our own website and through other online companies, and the better one would be to go with specialised portals here.”
He said contrary to Europe, the actual traction of the brand would not be strong enough to attract consumers directly. “It’s a new market and it will make more sense to go with a partner who is able to attract people who are not familiar with the brand.”
Besides India, Villeroy & Boch products are sold online in markets like the US, Europe and China. Villeroy said the company is looking at developing other channels of distribution in India besi- des its own three stores.
“We started with direct operations with one store.We are closely looking at developing other channels of distribution besides our core channels, own store retail activities,” he said.
Publically-listed Villeroy & Boch posted consolidated revenues of around 803 million in financial year 2015, up 4.9% over the previous year. The company's two divisions, bath and wellness, and tableware, posted revenues of around 500 million and 306 million, respectively.
“India is currently a small market but it fits the brand because there is a huge culinary and food culture in India. We see so many brands rushing in and out of India. But we want to have a stable base here. We are taking our time to build the brand,” said Villeroy.
TOI PHOTO INDIA CALLING: Nicolas Luc Villeroy