While admitting there are headwinds in the market, Danube Home reported a 40 per cent growth last year, which the company said has placed it well on track to achieve its growth forecast this year. According to Adel Sajan, director of the Danube Group, the company’s one-stop-shop model has been a key factor in consistently hitting sales targets.
“We’ve grown by 40 per cent last year, with a 15 per cent like-to-like growth, and we’ve been consistently growing by 40 per cent over the last four years,” he told Property Weekly, adding that the company intends to achieve 35-40 per cent growth this year. “We’ve been one of the fastest-growing retailers in the region, and I’m very happy with this.”
Underlining its confidence in the market, the complete home interior solutions company opened its biggest showroom in November in Barsha, covering 100,000 square feet over three levels. Sajan said the company will open five stores under Danube Home and 15 franchise stores in 10 countries by the end of this year.
“There are a couple of reasons which I would give credit for our growth,” said Sajan. “The first is that as a concept Danube Home is filling a vacuum: we’re the only retailer in the region selling products for home, living, bath and garden under one roof. The second reason is the work culture that we have created. We have this mantra ‘one team, one goal’, where everybody is working towards a common vision of the company, with a sense of ownership among all.” The company was the recipient of the Happiness at Work, Dubai Service Excellence Scheme and the Great Place to Work awards last year.
In the current market, Sajan said correct pricing and the customer’s overall experience count big in achieving sales goals. “We focus on the depth of the product line and believe in providing a one-stop solution at affordable prices,” he said.
The decision to offer free interior design service to walk-in customers further underlines the company’s confidence in its value proposition. “We are so confident about our prices that we give this service free of cost. You can actually take our design, go to the shop next door and buy what you want,” said Sajan, adding that 90 per cent of customers who avail of the free design actually prefer to buy from them.
As part of its expansion plans, Danube Home, which sources its products from 21 countries, including the US, Brazil, UK, Spain, India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Egypt, has launched a new premium furniture brand called Dolce Vita (which means luxurious living in Italian), available exclusively at the Al Barsha store.
Sajan acknowledges his father’s role in honing his product-sourcing skills. “[My father] put me into full-time sourcing. I was 19 years old, I was studying in college, when he gave me $1 million [Dh3.67 million] and said, ‘go and buy me chandeliers’. So that’s how my knowledge of sourcing began more than 10 years ago.”
He added: “We go to various exhibitions around the world, from Vegas to Milan, and get inspiration from new trends. We then re-engineer those products with our suppliers to figure out how we can make those expensive items affordable.”
The brand won the Inside Out Arabia Award for Best Outdoor Furniture Category last year.