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Rocket Internet-backed FabFurnish goes hybrid, opens franchise store

Rocket Internet-backed online home furnishings and furniture shop FabFurnish has opted for a hybrid (online-offline) business model with the opening of its brick-and-mortar retail outlet in Gurgaon. The 'first partner store' (that's how it is described on the site), has on display an assortment of furniture pieces that you will find on the portal.

"The new outlet is a franchise store, managed by a Delhi-based entrepreneur. He has the licence to use our brand name," said Vaibhav Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of FabFurnish.

FabFurnish, run by Xerion Retail Pvt Ltd, was started by Vaibhav Aggarwal, Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal in March this year. Prior to this venture, Aggarwal was a vice-president at Groupon India while Chopra was an investment analyst at Sequoia Capital. Agrawal hailed from the Boston Consulting Group and worked there as a consultant.

Commenting on the 'offline' initiative, Aggarwal said that the company's core focus is online business and it is not shifting its focus. "Furniture buying is a high involvement purchase and a store in Delhi-NCR has worked for us since we are based there. However, more stores are not in the pipeline. Our focus would always be online business," he affirmed.

FabFurnish deals in various categories such as home furnishings, including furniture & fittings, bed & bath products, home décor items, lighting, kitchenware, dinnerware and more. The company offers branded stuff as well as private label products, and follows an inventory-cum-marketplace model as well.

"Right now, people are not searching that much for furniture," said Aggarwal. "But if you look back, it was the same with shoes. Earlier, nobody would buy shoes online but things have changed now. The online furniture market will evolve in the same way. There is a huge market, especially in tier II cities, as the top brands are not there yet. So the unorganised market is a huge business opportunity for us," he added.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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