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Prize winner
Authors: Amit Joshi; Ivy Buche
Published by: Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Originally published in: 2018
Version: 19.06.2020
Revision date: 24-Jun-2020

Abstract

The case discusses how Pepperfry, India's largest online furniture retailer, disrupted the furniture and home decor market while overcoming the challenges of India's weak infrastructure, age-old methods of buying and selling furniture from local carpentry shops, lack of consumer trust in e-Commerce and a massive geography. By 2018 Pepperfry had grown exponentially to control over 60% of the online furniture business in the country. However, several questions regarding its current and future trajectory remained. First, despite controlling costs and significantly expanding revenues, it was not profitable. What could it do to achieve profitability? Second, in response to the demands of the market, Pepperfry embarked on an omnichannel strategy, establishing 34 studios in Tier 1 cities with targeted expansion to 70 studios by 2019. How could it manage this added online-offline complexity, while still staying on track to break even? Finally, the competitive space had significantly heated up, with the arrival of IKEA (September 2018), and with Flipkart's (acquired by Walmart) growing focus on the furniture segment. Did Pepperfry have the systems, brand name and agility to respond to these challenges? Or will the disruptor be disrupted?

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2012 - 2017.

Geographical setting

Region:
Asia
Country:
India

Featured company

Pepperfry
Turnover:
USD 39 million

About

Abstract

The case discusses how Pepperfry, India's largest online furniture retailer, disrupted the furniture and home decor market while overcoming the challenges of India's weak infrastructure, age-old methods of buying and selling furniture from local carpentry shops, lack of consumer trust in e-Commerce and a massive geography. By 2018 Pepperfry had grown exponentially to control over 60% of the online furniture business in the country. However, several questions regarding its current and future trajectory remained. First, despite controlling costs and significantly expanding revenues, it was not profitable. What could it do to achieve profitability? Second, in response to the demands of the market, Pepperfry embarked on an omnichannel strategy, establishing 34 studios in Tier 1 cities with targeted expansion to 70 studios by 2019. How could it manage this added online-offline complexity, while still staying on track to break even? Finally, the competitive space had significantly heated up, with the arrival of IKEA (September 2018), and with Flipkart's (acquired by Walmart) growing focus on the furniture segment. Did Pepperfry have the systems, brand name and agility to respond to these challenges? Or will the disruptor be disrupted?

Settings

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2012 - 2017.

Geographical setting

Region:
Asia
Country:
India

Featured company

Pepperfry
Turnover:
USD 39 million

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