Express News Service
CHENNAI: Thanks to the Internet, especially sites like Pinterest, the spotlight on home decor is not going away anytime soon. Radeesh, the lighting designer and proprietor of The Purple Turtles, started his store in the city two years back. CE talks to him to know more about how Chennai has opened up to the brand and how the Internet is fuelling the home decor space.
How has Chennai been as a market for The Purple Turtles?
It has been almost two years since we started the store in Chennai, and it has been a very good market. Many of our clients who work in Bengaluru are from Chennai so it becomes convenient for them to pick up our stuff for their homes at the store. Bengaluru is the best performing city also because we do many projects there. As a retail store, Chennai has been one of our good performers and is swiftly catching up.
Were you hesitant before entering the Chennai market?
Yes, we did have apprehensions as we were warned that the city is conservative and people would choose to spend on clothes and cars rather than on decor. But, this has been proven wrong because the city has come of age and people want to experiment.
What do you think has led to this change?
The younger generation is well-travelled and is looking at compact, smaller homes. They prefer doing up their own homes and are setting up holiday homes. Pinterest and Instagram have definitely helped in putting the spotlight on home decor and furnishing. In fact, people come up to us with pictures from the Internet and ask if we have stuff like that or if we can replicate those designs. The biggest thing that has happened is that the mindset has changed.
Why did you feel the need to launch brick and mortar stores when a lot of brands in this category are online?
Furniture is a touch-and-feel thing so I don’t see the point of having only an online presence. That’s why you see many online players opening up experience centres so that people can get a feel of the furniture rather than having it delivered and then realising that they do not like it. We have an online presence but that is mainly to cater to those who are from tier II cities and who possibly do not have access to one of the stores.
Anything exciting that people can look forward to from your brand?
We turn 10 in December this year and we are planning a lot of line extensions in addition to launching an exclusive garden store — Beruru — and expanding to include wall decor like wall installations in our services.