Flipkart is putting its weight behind the appliances segment this year, aiming to replicate its smartphones business strategy.
It is investing heavily in building new warehouses to strengthen delivery infrastructure for the business as well as bring international brands exclusively onto its platform.
Led by Sandeep Karwa, who spent a considerable time in Flipkart’s smartphone business, the home-grown e-tailer will focus on high-value premium products in the space led by televisions. Karwa said the company clocked about Rs 2,000 crore in gross sales from televisions – with a significant contribution coming from the sale of smart TVs.
After smartphones, the large appliances category has now become the second-biggest for Flipkart in terms of gross sales. The e-tailer claims it has surpassed offline retailers like Croma or Reliance Digital in overall TV sales for 2017. However, this could not be independently verified. Karwa said he is aiming to rack up gross sales of Rs 5,000 crore from televisions by end of 2018.
“We are opening four new warehouses in the country to serve this business which will double our capacity to 1.5 million square feet. We are in the final stages of bringing three international brands exclusively here,” Karwa said. Flipkart will focus on selling large-sized TVs and smart TVs and would bring down prices.
Flipkart wants to sell these products at about 15% cheaper than the market rates. It has nine existing warehouses for large appliances. For Flipkart, the contribution of large appliances in overall sales has grown in the past 18-24 months. Despite the spurt in sales online, overall only about 6-7% of large appliances are sold. Amazon, too has been focusing on this segment building separate warehouses for these products.