IKEA opens its first India store tomorrow: Here’s what it offers

After 12 long years of planning and six year after it made an announcement,
Ikea is finally opening its first store in
India tomorrow. The world’s largest furniture retailer is all set to open its
Hyderabad store on August 9, the first of 25 it plans to open in India by 2025.

The first Ikea store is a 13-acre complex in Hitec City on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The showroom will display some 7,500 products and nearly 1,000 of which would sell for for less than Rs 200 a piece. Ikea expects six million customers in a year.

Ikea had earlier said that it decided to move the date to August 9 from July 19 as it needed some more time to live up to its expected quality commitments towards customers and co-workers.

The Ikea teams had visited over 1,000 homes in India with varied income levels and lifestyles to understand their needs and dreams before finalising around 7,500 varieties of home furnishing items to be made available at its India stores.

Ikea expects its restaurant business to drive higher footfalls at its stores in India, a sharp contrast to other markets where customers flock in to buy its popular ready-to-assemble products.

The Hyderabad store will have a 1,000-seater restaurant, Ikea’s biggest globally. Half of its restaurant menu will consist of vegetarian options, including idli and sambar, samosa and vegetable biryani, sourced from about 25 vendors, mainly women-led social enterprises.

Chicken will replace Ikea’s trademark beef and pork meatballs, in deference to Indian cultural preferences.

“We internally call our restaurant or food business the best sofa-seller as it takes time to buy furniture, so we need food for people to stay. In India, for every customer on the cash counter, we will have one paying at the restaurant, too. That’s nearly 50% of the customers as Indians love food,” Patrick Antoni, deputy country manager at Ikea India, told ET in June.

The global furniture giant also plans to start e-commerce operations from Mumbai next year. It plans to offer online sales in cities where it can support them with fulfilment, delivery and assembling services.

“We would like to start online sales to begin with from Mumbai and we are quite sure that in a couple of years we will be available for online shopping in a lot of cities,” chief executive Peter Betzel said in Hyderabad last month.

IKEA sees potential to set up large or small format stores in at least 49 Indian cities with a population of more than a million each over the years. “After Hyderabad, we will open stores in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai and others. We are curious to try multi-channel sales — large format, small format, with store, without store online,” Betzel said.

Undeterred by taxes, IKEA puts together cheap India pricing

Do things differently in India

8 Aug, 2018

IKEA will do things differently in India after it opens its first store in the nation on Thursday, as it deals with higher taxes on imported goods and looks to woo cost-conscious shoppers unaccustomed to the company’s DIY furniture assembly style.

Betting on India

8 Aug, 2018

The Swedish furniture retailer is pushing into new countries in South America and Asia as growth slows in its traditional strongholds, including Europe. It is betting on India with its growing middle class, likely aiming to avoid a repeat of the high pricing that initially hit sales in China and Australia.

India as a big challenge

8 Aug, 2018

The company, which has flagged import duties in India as a big challenge as it tries to keep prices low, has to source at least 30 percent of its raw materials locally within five years of operations in the country as per Indian regulation. IKEA already sources about a fifth of its global supplies from India.Nevertheless, IKEA still needed to tweak its playbook.

400,000 square feet store

8 Aug, 2018

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 ($2.91) – cheaper than in most countries.A quick check on IKEA’s newly launched India website showed popular products looked cheaper than in the United States. For instance, in India, the white variation of the company’s best-selling Billy bookcase is cheaper by a fifth than in the United States and the dark-grey Ektorp sofa is priced 30 percent lower.

IKEA partnering with UrbanClap

8 Aug, 2018

To satisfy the Indian penchant for ready-made furniture, IKEA has set up a 150 member task force to help customers assemble furniture and is also partnering with UrbanClap, an app that connects people with a variety of service providers, including carpenters.UrbanClap charges customers about 250 rupees ($3.64) for a 30-minute carpentry job. In comparison, TaskRabbit, the services platform acquired by IKEA in 2017, charges U.S. shoppers a minimum of $36 for any installation job.IKEA has so far only said it will charge more than UrbanClap if its in-house assemblers do the job.