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Bengaluru: As IKEA store lures more visitors, local businesses make the most of novelty factor

Crowds converging on the store during the weekend are giving good business to cigarette, paan and snack vendors
Last Updated 04 July 2022, 02:45 IST

Swedish furniture giant IKEA’s first Bengaluru outlet has become a hotspot, with restaurants and small tuck shops around the store reporting 50 per cent more business.

Crowds converging on the store during the weekend, who wait nearly three hours to get in through the entrance, are giving good business to cigarette, paan and snack vendors camped nearby in their makeshift stalls.

“We see footfall mostly from the employees on breaks. If we would get 10 to 15 customers a day earlier, we see repeat visitors four to five times a day now and sell more,” said Harish who has a stall close by.

Larger eateries within a kilometre of the IKEA store say the footfall has increased by 50%. “While the store has its own restaurant, some people prefer to come to local hotels because it is easy on the pocket. We have increased the quantity of most items on the menu,” said one eatery manager.

Bobby’s Punjabi Dhaba, located a kilometre away from the IKEA store, witnessed an increase in customer base. “Looks like this rush will be a temporary one till the crowd at IKEA recedes,” said an employee at the dhaba. “But we have been doing brisk business because people who wait (at the store) order food. We also have to make a little more of the fast-moving food items.”

Metro passenger traffic

The Nagasandra metro station, located next door to the store, has seen unprecedented traffic in the last two weeks.

“We have started dreading Saturdays and Sundays. Last week, we had to call in staff from other stations to handle the crowd, and the queues for tokens have become extremely long and noisy,” said Meera, a staffer usually stationed on the platform where trains returning to Silk Institute depart.

“People hardly glance at the thermal scanners while re-entering the station. Enforcing protocol and frisking so many of passengers has become exhausting for us,” said Sneha, who sits at the entrance.

Even as IKEA handles long queues and excited customers, locals in Nagasandra believe that the novelty factor will eventually wear out.

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(Published 03 July 2022, 17:59 IST)

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