Flipkart opens first furniture experience center in India

Flipkart plans to launch two more similar outlets in the same city and across India.

Walmart-owned Flipkart has gone offline in India by opening a furniture experience centre in Bengaluru.

The 1,800sq ft centre will display furniture from about nine brands. Flipkart plans to launch two more similar outlets in the same city and across India, according to ET Brand Equity.

"The furniture category has traditionally had a strong presence offline, because customers like to see and touch the products they are buying,” said Adarsh Menon, the vice president of furniture, electronics and private label at Flipkart.

“We understand the requirements of customers and hence 'FurniSure'”.

According to the report, the brand is also looking to open an offline supermarket too.

Flipkart is facing competition from the likes of Amazon and Ikea, which launched in the country in 2018. The opening of the Ikea store in Hyderabad saw massive long queues and traffic coming to a standstill.

Digital-born brands going offline to open retail has seen mixed results in Asia Pacific, with the likes of Alibaba, JD.com, Honestbee and Deliveroo going down the route.

Alibaba pioneered in China with its Hema stores through its ‘New Retail’ strategy and JD.com with its 7Fresh stores.

Honestbee launched a 60,000sq foot space in 2018 that houses a grocery and dining retail store, while Deliveroo’s new offline space is called Deliveroo Food Market, a semi-automated store where digital payment kiosks and lockers allow customers to pay and pick up their food without any interaction with staff.

However, Meituan Dianping has closed its five offline supermarket stores as the company continues to scale back its business.

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