The Best E-commerce Website of the Year – a category of Kenya’s newly established E-Commerce Awards – was recently bestowed on Furniture Palace, further testimony to the company’s policy of continuous enhancement.
Furniture Palace, established in 2002 in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, was founded on the belief that “furniture can be sold in a better way.”
“We have never stopped growing and striving to be Kenya’s number one choice for home, offices and gardens,” says Rahul Haria, chief executive officer and purchaser-strategist of Furniture Palace. “Our aim has always been to provide a wide range of quality furniture for all purposes, with affordable and competitive prices, excellent value services, sustainable improvement and comfortable shopping environment manned by competent staff.
“We source the world over for the best in quality, design and value, coupled with on-the-ground customer service, support and after-sales service. This ensures a trusted relationship (will grow) in the long term.”
Other factors in the transaction equation have not been neglected. Haria adds: “These include powering our staff with product knowledge and customer service training, while providing our customers with many platforms to access our products through our dynamic website, mobile app on both iOS and android, social media and our ever-increasing store locations.”
Currently, Furniture Palace has 150 employees and imports 450×40 HC containers annually to achieve a turnover of US$22 million (a far cry from the turnover of US$800,000 in the early years of operation). Its warehouse space amounts to 100,000 square feet, while its combined retail space of eight showrooms in Nairobi (two) Mombasa (one) and Eldoret (one), measures 210,000 square feet. The largest is the flagship Nairobi store at 70,000 square feet
Taking up much of Haria’s time these days are the preparations to launch a massive 50,000-square-foot showroom in the capital in November as well as a 20,000-square-foot showroom, the second for Eldoret, northwest of the country. More stores are in the pipeline, Haria reveals. “We want to be in every big city in Kenya,” he says.
Like most furniture retail start-ups, Furniture Palace began selling low-end priced products, eventually moving to occupy the mid-range and high-end priced niche. The entire range (and a comprehensive range it is) is featured on their award-winning website www.furniturepalacekenya.com and mobile app, available on Google Play or Apple Store. To source the contents of their showrooms, and ensure unceasing continuing customer purchases, Haria and his team attend all the major trade shows in Europe, the mericas and Asia without fail every year, ordering the best of what they spot from the US, Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Poland, China, Malaysia, India, China, Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia.
With a database of 85,000 mobile numbers, Furniture Palace gets the word out about current promotions through SMS alerts and social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, making these a very effective shopping tool. Flyers are regularly inserted in newspapers, which also carry advertisements, while billboards, TV, cinema, the website on delivery vans also serve to publicise the chain’s activities and future directions.
Low staff turnover throughout the Furniture Palace chain ensures customers consistently deal with trained and dedicated personnel. After purchase, customers can take comfort that value service will be rendered through free delivery and installation, as well as support even once the two functions are completed.
With more customers choosing upmarket products and services, although still reasonably priced, these perks are certain to make Furniture Palace the go-to place when furnishing their work and private spaces is necessary, says Haria.
The E-commerce Award is not the first accolade that has come Furniture Palace’s way. In 2008, it was included in Kenya’s Mid-Sized Top 100 Companies; in 2010, it joined the ranks of the SuperBrands; and in 2017, it was given a Certified Blue Company Certificate, designating it as a 100 percent Corruption Free Company.
With the company’s burning commitment to excel and provide customer satisfaction, the next award is just around the Corner.