To roll out two brands in two months.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, April 2

Italian premium furniture maker Natuzzi SpA will roll out its two brands – Natuzzi and Italsofa - in India over the next two months and expects to have some 70 points of sales in large cities over the next three years.

The NYSE-listed furniture maker has decided to take the City Model route to operate in India, wherein the company will tie up with city-specific franchisee partners who will invest in setting up the points of sales, said Mr Nitin Bahl, Country Manager, Natuzzi India.

The world's largest leather furniture maker would invest in brand building and logistics, among others.

“We are looking at multiple formats for the points of sales such as flagship stores, mono-brand small outlets and galleries in the form of shops-in-shops,” Mr Bahl said.

Natuzzi expects to have 10 such outlets by the year-end across 4-5 cities.

The first two flagship outlets in Delhi and Mumbai will be opened by July-end.

The company is in the process of finalising its franchisee partners in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Rising disposable incomes and increasing exposure to overseas lifestyles were driving the high-end furniture market in India, Mr Bahl said.

Stating that the company was sourcing some furnishings from India, Mr Bahl said the company could look at a manufacturing base in India in the long run.

Natuzzi is manufactured in Italy, while Italsofa is produced in China, Brazil and Romania.

Target buyers

Natuzzi has been exporting its products to India for some time now and it was mostly architects and interior decorators who were importing them from Dubai or Milan.

Natuzzi is a premium brand whereas Italsofa is a younger brand addressing a different audience with contemporary and modern design.

“We are trying to target the first-time home buyers with the Italsofa,” Mr Bahl said. Natuzzi, which operates in over 123 countries, is targeting a turnover of €25 million from India by 2012, he said.

The furniture market in India is estimated at $9.4 billion and a little less than a tenth of it is in the organised sector.

“The furniture market in India has not yet evolved, but it is substantial. The furniture imported doubled between 2006 and 2008 from $150 million to $300 million,” he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 3, 2010)
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