Up-market, organised hardware retailers Hippo, which has already launched two large stores in NCR, plans to expand to 27 cities and open 31 stores in the next five years.
Promoted by the Dalmia Bharat group, Hippo offers a showroom experience where people can walk in and choose material for construction, interiors as well as furniture. The stores have around 12,000 products from 160 brands. The Noida store, which is also their latest, is spread over a 50,000 sq ft.
According to the company, the initial investment made to start the two stores has been around Rs 200 crore.
A close comparison of Hippo would be the Home Depot chain in the US, and the company believes India is ready for such an experience.
“The market was ready for a store like this. While there are various chains of this scale abroad, in India we are among the first ones to have entered the genre of organised hardware retail. We have plans to scale to 31 stores across India. We have invested around Rs 200 crore and will be taking the funding route for the next round of expansion,” Amit Garg, CMD, Hippo Stores told Business Today.
The store has a range of tiles, paints, batch room fittings, modular kitchens, bathware and even furniture on display.
According to Garg the urban Indian is ready for a ‘sophisticated experience’ for hardware shopping and this has made it opened a whole new experience for architects, interior decorators and even builders to sample material.
“So far, hardware shopping in India was highly unorganised and people were not even aware of what they could choose from. Also, women had very little scope to go and explore tiles and fittings and mostly they would have to pick from whatever was brought to them as samples,” said Garg.
The other benefit Garg thinks Hippo has brought forth for its buyers is ‘authenticity’ of the material. “There is no scope for spurious goods in a shop like this,” he said.
As Hippo opens up a whole new retail experience for home building and home improvement enthusiasts, Garg feels it has been possible because of the seamlessness in transactions ushered in by the Goods and Sales Tax (GST) regime.
“It has only been possible to organise this retail because of GST as it brought about transparency and uniformity on prices. This is a whole new beginning for the way people are going to be involved with the building process of their properties,” he said.
Also Read: Want to invest? 5 reasons to buy a shop and NOT a flat
Also Read: What is Dubai's golden visa and why are Indians making a beeline?
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today
Add Business Today to Home Screen