1. Urban Ladder reinvents itself with focus on offline stores

Urban Ladder reinvents itself with focus on offline stores

Online furniture and home decor brand Urban Ladder has unveiled its new brand identity with the tagline Let’s Create, in a bid to open up distribution channels to reach out to new customers.

By: | Mumbai | Published: October 27, 2016 6:30 AM
Urban Ladder, Urban Ladder fund, Urban Ladder funding, Urban Ladder raises fund, Urban Ladder news Urban Ladder will build an offline presence by launching its first store in Bengaluru by March 2017.

Online furniture and home decor brand Urban Ladder has unveiled its new brand identity with the tagline Let’s Create, in a bid to open up distribution channels to reach out to new customers. The brand is looking at increasing its visibility and 20% of its catalogue is now present on e-commerce portals like Amazon and Flipkart, which will go up to 70% by next week.

Furthermore, Urban Ladder will build an offline presence by launching its first store in Bengaluru by March 2017. Based on consumer adoption, the brand will look at launching stores in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai as well.
Ashish Goel, CEO and co-founder, Urban Ladder told FE that the offline stores will be smaller, more like experience centres, showcasing a few products and helping customers visualise the designs, whereas the bulk of the inventory will be stored in warehouses.

“When one is buying furniture, it’s about creating spaces, so we want to have collaborative creative spaces. We are expanding our catalogue and are moving from single products to a curated range of products and will also brand our products with a tag of Urban Ladder,” highlights Sanjay Gupta, CMO, Urban Ladder.

The new logo, orange in colour, depicts the four walls of an empty room and a blank canvas where consumers create what they want and the logo transitions into various furniture pieces reflecting the philosophy of the brand.

In order to ease the consumer experience, the new web interface will have features like Urban Interiors – where designers will help consumers set up a new home and The Design Pages– a digital magazine on home design planned every quarter. Besides this, the company is also gearing up to launch a Home Artist app, helping people visualise by clicking a picture of their rooms and experimenting with the designs. The app is expected to go live by June 2017.

In a country where 99% of furniture is bought offline, brands like Urban Ladder are expecting big results from this shift. Over the next three years, it expects about 40% of transactions to come from offline stores.

Gupta adds, “Furniture is a very fragmented and unbranded market. It is a $20 billion industry where 20% is organised and around 70% of that is focussed on Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, so we can get a good enough market size.”

Unlike its competitor Pepperfry, the brand hasn’t been seen focussing very actively on brand communication through advertising. It however, plans to focus on that front after its store launches as it claims it will be easier to convert people to come to physical stores and purchase.

With a consumer base of around two lakh, the brand claims that the number of people buying is increasing month on month without having to increase spends on advertising. “Around 70% of our business happens with new customers,” says Gupta.

Launched in 2012, Urban Ladder provides online furniture via an inventory-based and controlled supply model. It competes with Pepperfry and FabFurnish and is backed by TR Capital, Sequoia Capital, Steadview Capital, SAIF Partners and Kalaari Capital. Ratan Tata is also an investor in the firm.

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