Ikea's launch comes at least 12 years after it started studying India. It is finally opening on August 9. At present, it has stores in 51 countries.
November 2, 2017: Ikea announces the purchase of 10 acres of land in Gurugram (formerly Gurgaon) in the National Capital Region outside Delhi from the Haryana Urban Development Authority, and plans to build a 400,000 square-foot store with parking for 1,000 cars and a restaurant seating 1,000 people.
IKEA officials reportedly visited over 1000 homes of various sizes belonging to different income groups to understand the needs and aspirations of Indians.
The products displayed in concept room are not for pickup but the customers can note down the details to purchase them in the market hall.
IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings giant, is known the worldover as much for its meatballs as for its do-it-yourself (DIY) furniture.
"I lived in Singapore for six years, so I knew about IKEA".
IKEA's debut in India has been a long time coming.
Ikea has an answer to that as well.
And to overcome Indians' aversion to assembling their furniture, with people used to small, family-owned firms providing a bespoke service, Ikea teamed up with UrbanClap, an online platform that helps connect handymen with consumers.
Another driving force for Indians when they pick furniture is the pricing and durability.
The interior of the store has a noticeable local feel too, with Indian-design bedspreads and framed photos of the Taj Mahal and other Indian monuments - alongside Klimt's painting "The Kiss" recalling faraway Europe. To counter that Ikea is selling their lightweight furniture and household items at a cheaper rate - some even cheaper than what they are selling in some overseas markets.
The Hyderabad store offers 7,500 products, employs 950 workers directly and 1,500 people indirectly. Not only that, 20% of their products will be locally-sourced as well and will be in tandem with Indian choices. For eg, a set of knives and forks has been replaced by a set of spoons, their cabinets and countertops display section is kept at a lower level so that Indian women, who are shorter than their European counterparts can assess them better.
The next upcoming IKEA store is expected to be opened in Mumbai in early 2019, and Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Pune are expected to follow suit.
The store will remain open 365 days from between 10.00 am - 11.00 pm.
Instead of beef or pork, the company's signature meatballs - nearly as famous as its "Billy" bookshelves - will be either chicken or vegetarian. The 1,000-seater restaurant will have a very affordable menu including a plate of samosas for Rs 10.
The world's biggest furniture retailer expects seven million people a year to throng its new store in the southern city of Hyderabad, the first of 25 outlets it hopes to open across the country of 1.25 billion people by 2025.
The retailer is considering setting up some smaller format stores in India not only in metros but other select cities in the country.
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