Online marketplace Flipkart is all set to take on its competitors and several other niche players in the highly unorganised $20-billion home furnishing and furniture category in India.

The Bengaluru-based company has launched its home furnishing segment that includes products from cushion covers to kitchen appliances. It is also expected to add furniture into the segment in a couple of months.

Fast growing

According to Ankit Nagori, Senior Vice-President (Marketplace) at Flipkart, home and furnishings is one of the fastest growing categories online and the company expects about 10-15 per cent of the total sales coming from this segment by end of the year.

“We entered this segment at a right time as the market is expanding rapidly. We are already working with few thousand sellers, with expertise in home-related products, across towns and cities like Jaipur, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Jodhpur, and Indore among others. The idea is to build a category based on right selection and focusing on the local market. We are on the right track,” Nagori said and added that there are about 2-3 crore small and medium enterprises in the country that cater to this particular category.

Flipkart expects the sellers in this category to grow 3-4 times in the first year itself. According to industry experts, home and furnishing segment is getting competitive online with niche players like Rocket Internet-backed FabFurnish, Norwest Venture Partners-funded Pepperfry and Kalaari’s Urban Ladder.

Tycoons in fray

This segment has also caught the attention of business tycoons such as Ratan Tata. Besides, players such as Snapdeal, Homeshop18 and are also betting big on this category that fetches margins of 10-25 per cent. The category is expected to be the third largest after apparel and consumer electronics.

“We want to be the largest player in the home furnishings category by the end of this year,” Nagori said adding that the segment is ripe for disruption and the company is working towards creating “never-ever” witnessed customer experiences on its mobile application.

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