Ikea India launches with Hyderabad megastore


The store houses a 1,000-seater restaurant, IKEA's largest and possibly India's largest restaurant, a cafe which will offer coffee, bakes, frozen yogurt and many more for purchase, a kids' play area named Smaland where customers can leave their children safely. We are trying to develop a range of local products. Knowing the price-sensitive nature of Indian buyers, it has been offering about 1000 products in a price range below Rs 200. Says Sales Manager Christian Kampe, "Because we sell at everyday low prices, the most competitive pricing in the city". A huge amount of research has been done by the Ikea team to understand the Indian market.

Speaking to CNNMoney two hours after the store's 10 a.m. opening, Achillea estimated that almost 3,000 customers had already come in.

They were greeted by Ikea staff members in blue-and-yellow company polo shirts who had packed themselves at the stairway, waving India and Sweden flags.

Brodin also said he wants IKEA to be more affordable and accessible to customers in India.

"I'm more of a DIY guy", he added, referring to the chain's do-it-yourself furniture assembly model. Since 2016, those rules have been eased but it still took IKEA time to get the flagship store up and running.

A top official of Danube Home had said in May that they are looking to expand in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and also entering Indian market with an investments of 300 million Dirham.

The company's efforts in India haven't been without hiccups.

The 400,000 square feet (37,160 square metre) store in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad will offer 1,000 products including cutlery, stuffed toys, hangers and container boxes priced under 200 Indian rupees (US$2.91) - cheaper than in most countries. Overall, the Hyderabad store will directly employ at least 950 people and another 1,500 indirectly for various services, it said on Wednesday.

The company plans to open 25 stores all across India by 2025 with its next stores in Mumbai next year followed by Bengaluru and Gurugram. The opening of its first store here was scheduled for July 19 this year but the company again pushed it back by nearly 20 days to August 9, citing quality commitments.

When it did open on Thursday, the excitement among customers, workers and Ikea executives was palpable.

The company's vast array of goods available at one place gives it an advantage in India.

It plans to open stores in over 40 cities across the country, starting with Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi. "This is my first visit, and I'm just exploring. but I'm going to be here very often".

IKEA Group, CEO, Jesper Brodin said "We have a long term commitment to India which is an important market for us".

A local resident named Rajani Venugopal, who had come to the store to shop soon after the formal inauguration, was asked to open the store by cutting the ribbon.