IKEA's first India store to open in Hyderabad

IKEA, the world’s largest home furnishing retailer, is all set to make a foray in India with the launch of its first retail store here on Thursday.  Reuters file photo

IKEA, the world’s largest home furnishing retailer, is all set to make a foray in India with the launch of its first retail store here on Thursday. The four lakh square feet store is spread over 13 acres in the heart of Hyderabad’s tech hub offering 7,500 home furnishing products ranging from Rs 200. The Swedish major has invested Rs 1,000 crore for the Hyderabad facility for which foundation was laid during August 2016.

“We have surveyed 1,000 households to understand people’s life, affordability and related issues. Where ever IKEA sets shop, we have seen a marked increase in demand for home furnishings,” company’s India CEO Peter Betzel told reporters here on Wednesday. The company is planning to open 25 stores over next 10 years in India starting from Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi National Capital Region.

The company has plans to open two to three retail stores every year. Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Surat are the other cities Ikea is looking at. “We are targeting 49 large cities for setting up big format stores. We are also exploring smaller stores, increasing local sourcing to 50 per cent and bringing in technology,” he said. The Swedish giant has got the nod to open 25 stores with an investment of around Rs 1,000 crore per store over 10 years.

“Our emphasis will be on experiential shopping at stores to a transition to online in the future. The need for online shopping is growing in home furnishings. In some countries, it is between 6-10 per cent of the share of the total sales at present. It is offered in a dozen countries,” the CEO said.

IKEA has 328 stores spread across 28 countries. It was one of the first companies in India to get approval for setting up 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail in 2013. IKEA also plans to double its sourcing from India to 600 million Euros by 2020. “Today is a proud moment, as it marks a major milestone in a journey that started more than 30 years ago when IKEA is partnered with local manufacturers in India. We have a long-term commitment with India,” Jesper Brodin, CEO IKEA group said.

The Hyderabad store will have 1,000 employees, out of which 50 per cent are women. “Our all India team consists of 48 per cent of women in all cadres. Here we have roped in Disha an NGO to train 100 women. Our goal is to provide employment to 15,000 persons all over the country,” Anna Carin Mansson, India HR manager says.

Another key highlight is that it will house the biggest restaurant in IKEA’s worldwide chain with a 1,000 seater atrium. In addition, the Hyderabad store will for the first time offer a home delivery-cum-help in an assembly of select products. It has tied up with logistics major GATI and about 150 staff to drive the service, said John Achilles, Store Manager here.


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