Swedish furniture giant IKEA has been heavily investing in India, but with its newest store in Mumbai, the company is taking a more unique approach to getting customers: A touch of 'local' flavour.
The company's Mumbai store is offering, alongside its usual inventory of products, cookware and spice jars in an attempt to attract customers, according to a Financial Times report.
In addition to that, the store's restaurant, which can seat 1,000 people, is offering a mix of Swedish and Indian food items in the menu, ranging from meatballs to chicken curry and biriyani.
But the company is not done yet. It aims to open two more outlets in Mumbai in 2021, and expand to Bengaluru and New Delhi as well.
“Our priority is to establish IKEA always with an IKEA store, and then develop” more outlets and online delivery, said Juvencio Maeztu, deputy chief executive of Ingka Group. “The more we develop these big clusters in India, the more we can expand.”
India's retail market is estimated to be worth $850 billion, the report said, adding that while most Indians choose to buy furniture from artisans or local markets, the pandemic has opened a door for well-funded brands like IKEA.
The company is also betting that physical stores will continue to remain important, even as the market share of online sales has grown in the midst of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
IKEA also aims to improve its domestic supply chain in order to source more of its products locally.