Uvanart: Ready For A Blue Ocean Shift?
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 ( ), Soufeiya ( ), and Homekoo ( ) have all gone public. Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent have teamed up with retail mall operators Easy Home ( ) and Red Star Macalline ( ), to gain a foothold in the growing market. Online furniture design brands like Zaozuo ( ) and Ziin ( ) 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?