Bangalore: Seeing young buyers looking for branded products in the largely unorganized home furnishings market, apparel manufacturers and retailers such as Arvind Brands Ltd, Raymond Ltd and Alok Industries Ltd, have all recently ventured into home furnishing.
Earlier, there were companies such as Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Co. Ltd but only 2% of the Rs9,300 crore annual home furnishing industry in India is organized, says Dipali Goenka, director of Welspun India Ltd.
Arvind Brands, the retail division of Arvind Mills Ltd, which has brands such as Flying Machine and Arrow, started retailing home furnishing products in its own multi-brand format Megamart chain.
Says J. Suresh, chief executive officer of Arvind Brands: “We have started selling bed linen and towels under the brand Mea Casa. We are also planning to bring in an international brand in this segment by the end of this year.”
Raymond relaunched its women apparel brand “Be:” in the home décor category, as “Be:Home”.
Rober Lobo, president of Be:Home says, “We are looking at a deeper offering to our customers with a more stylized line of products such as home wear apparel, spa and dining products alongwith the usual bed and bath line.”
The brand, which was launched in Mumbai, will be in 11 stores in different metros. With 2.5 million new homes being built every year in India, the new entrants see a large market opportunity.
Some textile export majors are also venturing into the domestic market after supplying home furnishing to international markets such as the US and Europe.
Alok Industries, a Mumbai-based textile company with revenues of Rs2,200 crore in 2007-08, which says it supplies home products to retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is set to launch a premium line of bed linen and towels for the domestic market called Jiva.
“We have discovered a huge demand for home textiles in the domestic segment with the housing boom to support it. People are more conscious about home décor and are willing to spend more,” said Sunil Khandelwal, chief financial officer of Alok.
He wouldn’t elaborate on Jiva’s launch plans.
“We are looking at tapping the unexplored markets in tier II and III cities, such as Patna and Gorakhpur, which are largely ruled by unbranded retailers,” said Goenka.
S. Susindran, chief executive officer of Sabare International Ltd, the Karur-based textile export firm, says that though it’s reasonably easy for apparel makers to extend their range to home furnishing, there are significant challenges.
“Unlike apparel, this industry is a slow turner and the offtake is relatively slow,” he notes.