Tech giant HP forays into home decor

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With the launch of custom designed and printed wall papers under the name of HP Wall Art, Hewlett Packard has gone a notch higher in its Graphic Solutions Business. What may appear as a radical shift from HP’s businesses so far has been justified as a well thought out strategy of taking printing forward by Puneet Chadha, Director, Graphic Solutions Business- IPG India. For this application service business, HP has partnered with Arun and Rajive Print Press, a privately owned company that has been in the printing industry for the last 40 years.

A DIY product?
Targeted at the middle-class, HP Wall Art products and services have been made available on the portal createyourwall.com. This portal will serve as an interface between HP and the user. The consumer can choose a design and customise it according to the needs pertaining to size and placement of objects. He can finalise the product which will either be shipped to his place for him to apply it himself or he can opt for a team which will do it for him. The site which is being positioned as a consumer-friendly platform does have its share of complexities for a layman who does not have the understanding of designing and architecture.

Puneet Chadha

Puneet Chadha, Director GSB

The website, at the moment, has five themes – Abstract, Passion, Kids, Nature and Spiritual. The company promises that the themes and the respective designs will keep increasing with time. Apart from segmenting it on the basis of concepts, commercial segmentation will also be made available to consumers for application in workspace.

How pocket-friendly is it?
Also, the proposition holds a close resemblance to wall-papers which have not been a success as product in the country. When quizzed about this fact, Chadha said, “We are not competing with paints and wall papers. We do not aim to replace them but complement them.” To add to this, the product that is being targeted at the middle class is being positioned as ‘extremely affordable’. When asked about the pricing, Siddharth Raj Malhotra, Director, Arun and Rajive Print Press said, “It is priced at Rs 180 per square feet, which includes taxes and services.” However, this price is limited to the Delhi and NCR region only. The prices for different areas will be disclosed with time.

Not just online
Further to the understanding that not all consumers will be comfortable buying and designing in the online space, Points-Of-Purchase (POP) will be set up throughout the country where consumers can walk in and design their interiors with the help of experts. Shedding light on the targeted markets for the POPs, Chadha said, “The Tier I towns will not be our only target as we see huge opportunities in the Tier II and Tier III markets as well. They cannot be ignored now.”

The POPs will be set up in shopping malls, dealer outlets, and other places which promise high footfall. The POPs will bear the branding of ‘create your wall’. Malhotra said, “We aim to set up 30 POPs from which 10 will be set up in the coming six months.” Three of these 10 POPs are already present in Noida, Faridabad and South Delhi.

Siddharth Malhotra

Siddharth Malhotra, Arun & Rajive - DPN Partner

Let the people know
The product was piloted during Dusshera last year before it was launched today. Chadha shares, “We ran pilots in an RWA club. 250 families visited the club to view the wall art, of which 112 proved to be leads.”

To maintain similar curiosity and convert it into sale, HP and Arun and Rajive will be taking the on-ground activities route. Activities and road shows in shopping malls, home furnishing outlets and with RWAs are on the cards. Further, to promote the different themes such as ‘kids’, niche platforms like toy stores will be chosen. Interior designing seminars will also become a platform to introduce the concept to consumers. Apart from on-ground activities, social networking will highly be used for the promotion of the product.

While the ball has been set to roll, it remains to be seen if HP Wall Art proves to be a competition for players like Asian Paints which has come up with its theme stores under the branding of ‘Colour’. Also, despite complementing wall-papers, it will take time to realise if HP Wall Art will be able to break the jinx that the wall-paper industry has withheld in the country.

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Jyotsna Sharma

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