Furniture retailer Urban Ladder Home Decor Solutions Pvt. Ltd expects its revenue to grow by around 75-80% and losses to narrow by around 40-45% in the financial year 2018-19. Strategic calls it has made over the past few years, including building an integrated omni-channel business model, have started to pay off and will help boost revenue and reduce losses, a top executive said in an interview.
The Bengaluru-based company, in a bid to build on the initial success of its omni-channel strategy, now also plans to scale up its offline store expansion aggressively. It is targeting close to 30 stores by Diwali, up from 11 currently.
"A lot of the long-term calls
we’ve taken -- of doing one store, getting it right and then rolling out; the reasons for doing retail; picking one city at a time -- are playing out in spades for us," Urban Ladder co-founder and chief executive Ashish Goel said. As part of its key strategy, the company's integrated omni-channel retail model will be going live in Chennai, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Coimbatore and Pune by end-April.
After the furniture retailer set up stores in Delhi, for instance, its business in that geography has gone up 2.5-2.7 times, it said. The company opened its first store in Delhi in May, the second in June and the third, a large 5,700 sq ft store in Kirti Nagar,
in October. Delhi is by far the biggest market city-wise in terms of furniture and the per capita consumption is disproportionately high compared with many other categories, and succeeding in a market like that is great, Goel said. Urban Ladder plans to go
deeper into the Delhi market, along with expanding its presence in other cities like Chennai, Kolkata and Pune.
For the year 2017-18, Urban Ladder had reported revenue of ₹ 204.73 crore, up just over 100% from ₹ 101.87 on a year-ago basis, according to documents filed by the company with the ministry of corporate affairs and sourced by business intelligence platform Paper late last month. Losses narrowed 74.44% to ₹ 117.32 crore from ₹ 459.11 crore.
In November, Goel told Mint in an interview that the company aims to turn profitable by December 2019 to prepare for a potential listing in three years. It is also looking at raising funds over the next 12 months to aggressively grow its offline presence, the company had said back then.
Online furniture retailer Pepperfry, which Urban Ladder competes with, reported a 32% narrowing of its annual losses and a 20% jump in its revenue during 2017-18. In October, Pepperfry (run by Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt. Ltd) had said it expects revenue growth of between 40% and 70% in 2018-19 and planned to achieve overall profitability over the next 12-18 months.