Kishore Biyani led retail giant Future Group has announced the re-launch of FabFurnish.com, which it acquired from Rocket Internet for $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr), last month.
It plans to spin off its furniture retail unit HomeTown to create a new home furnishing company combining it with FabFurnish.com.
Kishore Biyani, CEO of Future Group, said that while it is still not a board’s decision, but we could look at listing it as a separate entity. He added, “Our aim is to create some value in this business. With FabFurnish, we will be creating the largest home furnishing and Decor business in the country.”
Future Group, presently has 42 HomeTown retail stores, operating the furniture retail chain since last 10 years. HomeTown is expected to be a INR 1000 Cr business by the end of the current financial year. With this merge, Kishore Biyani looks at creating it as fifth listed company of the group.
HomeTown will be a vendor on Fabfurnish.com, which will also sell home and furnishing products from other retailers. This will get the entire entity in competition with online furniture retailers like UrbanLadder and Pepperfry, along with a few others players that deal in offering customised furniture like Furlenco and Stitchwood. According to industry experts, competition in the furniture retailing has scaled up in India due to easy ecommerce solutions. However, three-fourths of the industry is still controlled by the standalone stores and carpenters.
Recently, Swedish furniture and home furnishings maker Ikea is also expected to launch its first store in India in 2017. Also, Japanese housing and building materials trading firm Sumitomo Forestry bought a 26% stake in Indian modular furniture manufacturer Spacewood for about $14 Mn (INR 91 Cr), making it the first foreign direct investment in a furniture business in the country.
Apart from the growth in the industry, there have been some home furnishing firms that have exited the business soon. Reliance Industries’ retail arm Reliance Retail exited from its home furnishings retail business Reliance Living in 2014.
While, hypermarket chain HyperCITY Retail India Ltd exited the furniture and electronics retail business two years back.
Over the next three months, Future Group will also launch its eZone app and online shopping portals for Big Bazaar, shoe brand Clarks and plus-sized women’s clothing brand All.
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