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Concept Arbitrage: Pottery Barn

Posted on Saturday, Oct 27th 2007

While we’re on the topic of Concept Arbitrage and retail stores, one that I would like to see scaled in India is the Pottery Barn concept of Home Furnishings.

The two brands that I have seen as possible players are Anokhi and FabIndia. Fabindia’s first retail store opened in New Delhi in 1976. Today, Fabindia has 65 retail stores across India, as well as in Dubai, Rome, and Guangzhou, China. (There was another one that I saw a few years back while traveling through south of France in Toulouse. I could not find it on the web.)

Both Anokhi and Fab India also sell clothing, but I believe their Home Furnishings business is the most promising, and has reached a quality level that can become not only major Indian brands, but also International brands.

Nonetheless, there are opportunities for many more brands in this segment that tap into the tremendous handicrafts expertise throughout India, applies superior and sophisticated design skills that are in touch with the markets, and uses multi-channel retailing (including the Internet) to bring to market interesting home furnishing offerings.

One day, perhaps not so far into the future, I would like to step into Stanford Shopping Center and find a great Indian home furnishing store called Urja or Ulka. or may be Kajori. I would particularly like to open my wallet at this store if the people making the products are in the villages of India, leveraging their crafts to get out of the poverty pit.

This segment is a part in the series : Concept Arbitrage

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