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Uvanart: Ready for a Blue Ocean Shift?

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The case recaps the development of a contemporary online furniture brand in China, and the path of development to ride on the wave of digital retail.  From an art store in Beijing’s 798 Art District to becoming an online furniture brand on Tmall, Uvanart has positioned itself as an “affordable and artistic” furniture brand and built quite a following in the last few years.  But China’s home furniture market is fiercely competitive.  Traditional custom-furniture brands Oppein (欧派家居), Soufeiya (索菲亚),  and Homekoo (尚品宅配) have all gone public.  Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent have teamed up with retail mall operators Easy Home (居然之家) and Red Star Macalline (红星美凯龙), to gain a foothold in the growing market. Online furniture design brands like Zaozuo (造作) and Ziin (吱音) have won the hearts of China’s millennial consumers as well as venture capitalists seeking high growth investment opportunities.  Growth and scale are critical to Uvanart in the coming years.  Was the “affordable and artistic” brand strategy a sustainable differentiation? 

Learning Objective:

  1. To provide an overview of the recent developments in China’s furniture industry, outlining how macro-economic drivers, socio-political changes, and technology have collectively shaped industry development and structured market dynamics.

  2. To perform industry analysis via Five-Force model.

  3. To identify the core competences for online furniture companies.

  4. To provide a context for learning how to utilise the tools of Blue Ocean Strategy for competitive strategy.

Year of Publication: 2019
Ref. No.: 19/630C
Discipline: Marketing, Strategy & General Management
Industry: Household Products
Country: China (People's Rep. of)
Company: Uvanart Furniture
Languages: English
Pages of Text: 10