Ur­ban Lad­der

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

VMRD - - Contents - Chanda P Ku­mar

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

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