Friday, 19 April, 2019

Ikea opens first store in India

Sofas And Spoons In Demand As IKEA Opens First Store In India Ikea opens first India store, expects 7 million visitors per year
Ginger Lawrence | 12 August, 2018, 15:33

Within just two days of opening its first ever and biggest store in India, Ikea has attracted a footfall of more than 40,000 and this number is set to grow with the weekend approaching. According to reports, on the first of opening, the global furniture store saw a huge crowd of people visiting the store.

About 10,000 customers had visited the store by 4 p.m. but the crowds swelled later as thousands of techies headed to the place while returning home from offices.

Inside the store, many shoppers said they were excited to discover that the India store is no different from any other IKEA store, be it in Sweden, US or Singapore.

As Hyderabadiis rushed to store in thousands on day one, entire stretch of the road was jammed with heavy traffic throughout the day.

To overcome Indians' aversion to assembling their furniture, with people used to small, family-owned firms providing a bespoke service, Ikea teamed up with UrbanClap, an online platform connecting handymen with consumers. And since children often sleep in the same room as their parents, one model bedroom includes a child's bed amid all the furniture.

To try and ensure it recoups its $1.5-billion investment, the Swedish company has tweaked its offerings to suit Indian tastes, starting with the restaurant, where "Smaklig Maltid - "Enjoy your Meal" in Swedish" is written on the wall.

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Peter Betzel, CEO, IKEA India, said IKEA's next store would open in Mumbai next summer and this would be followed by stores in Bengaluru and Delhi.

Hyderabad store has come up over 13 acres in the heart of HITEC City, the information technology hub. "We found love for homes is very big in India".

The Swedish company said it is investing $1.5bn (£1.2bn) in India, as it plans to lure its rising middle class away from local furniture makers.

IKEA had originally planned to open its first store in India by 2017, but it was delayed. The IKEA restaurant will offer 50 per cent Swedish specialities like salmon and chicken and vegetarian meatballs and 50 per cent local delicacies like biryani, samosas, dal makhni in the case of Hyderabad. IKEA is a world-class furniture store which offers good-looking furniture at an affordable price.

Sourcing from India for over 30 years, Ikea is not new to the country.