Urban Ladder mentioned that it would look at investing $10-15 million for its offline retail presence in the next 18 months, through which it eyes a growth of 60% y-o-y. The brand plans 10 more experience centres by March 2018. While the initial focus wil
India’s popular online home furniture brand, Urban Ladder recently unveiled its first flagship experience store in Bangalore. Designed by Urban Ladder’s in-house team and leading retail design firm Restore, the contemporary retail space is spread over 7,500 sq ft and over two levels. The store with its bright orange facade is now a landmark on 100 ft road in Domlur. Scaling up its omni-channel retail strategy, the company is planning to open 10 such experience centres by March 2018 and also expanding its successful Sofa Lounge retail format, which is said to churn out 10 times the revenue of other stores in the same category.
During the launch, Urban Ladder mentioned that it would look at investing $10-15 million for its offline retail presence in the next 18 months, through which it eyes a growth of
60% y-o-y. “We will operate with a strong confluence of design and technology in our experience centres much like our websites. The key will be to leverage the cross-flow of our online and offline channels to create a fantastic retail experience,” says Ashish Goel, CEO & Founder, Urban Ladder
Through the Urban Ladder experience stores, customers will have the complete experience of products through AR & VR gear technology. “Our stores at present offer the option of using an app through which shoppers can customise furniture, browse for different looks, try combinations for creating an entire room itself,” adds Ashish. The brand plans 10 more experience centres by March 2018. While the initial focus will be on Bangalore, the company is eyeing the Delhi market closely.
The store has been designed to create niches that tell a story of the space or the character of a room. Here the idea is to sell a lifestyle and not just a product, where the store presents the desk of a teenager; study of a more evolved reader; living rooms inspired by French furniture or Parisian skyline. VM plays a major role in the Urban Ladder experience centre, where every product category has been given its own space and also invites shoppers to touch-n-feel the products.
“Any store, cannot probably hold more than 5-10% of our stock, as we have 1800 - 2000 SKUs. So how do you give sense of the 95% of the products in real life spaces? For this, VR will play a major role in our offline stores,” explains Rajiv Srivatsa, Co-Founder & COO, Urban Ladder.
Speaking about customer hesitation to try on these gadgets, Rajiv explains, “Very soon VR will become common with shoppers and as simple as using a mobile phone. We are building the right experiences and model, where customers will get realistic sense of what ever is there in the catalogue. It will be like an extension of the store.” Rajiv also believes that adopting these technologies will also not dent the budget in rolling out stores, as over 3-4 years the size of the device as well as the cost will come down.
The upcoming Urban Ladder experience stores will range between 4500- 8000 sq ft, where the brand plans to have 3-4 such stores in top cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. “The store format helps us establish our brand, gives us the ability to offer a touch-n-feel experience to customers at a very accessible location and also helps in better conversion of people who are already coming to our online store,” Rajiv concludes.
Ashish Goel, CEO & Founder & Rajiv Srivatsa, Co-Founder & COO, Urban Ladder