Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Why Hyderabad was chosen by IKEA for its first India store

Ikea’s first Indian store opened yesterday in Hyderabad Ikea’s first Indian store opened yesterday in HyderabadMAHESH KUM AP
Russell Knight | 10 August, 2018, 21:27

IKEA is set to open its Live Oak store months ahead of schedule.

At the groundbreaking ceremony in March, officials announced that the furniture superstore was expected to open Summer 2019. The crowds resembled queue lines in Tirumala or queue lines at ticket counters of first day of a super-star movie.

The Swedish furniture giant just opened its first store in Hyderabad, ready to cater to the furniture and meatball needs of the world's fastest growing middle class.

IKEA had originally planned to open its first store in India by 2017, but it was delayed.

IKEA store was formally opened to public in the presence of KT Rama Rao, Telangana Industries and IT Minister, along with Sweden Ambassador Klas Molin, Jesper Brodin, CEO, IKEA Group and Peter Betzel, CEO, IKEA India.

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The company now revised the number of stores to 40 across all formats. It is located in the midst of IT hub at walkable distance from Raheja mindspace, hi-tech city.

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, which has extensive range of products including home kitchen utensils and accessories, textiles, rugs, lighting, decoration, stationary and even live plants. However, Ikea claims it is for everyone, irrespective of size of their wallet. Harping on affordability to attract Indian customers, IKEA has priced over 1,000 products under Rs 200. Naveen Chintala, who works with a US-based telecommunications firm in the city, too was pleasantly surprised to find the store a replica of the Sweden outlets. We did not know this.

"Unlike countries like China, Taiwan and Korea, people in India celebrate at home and we promise to improve their everyday life", he said. "We met and interacted with 1,000 Indian families to understand what were their dreams, their frustrations and what they want".

Sourcing from India for over 30 years, Ikea is not new to the country.

To try and ensure it recoups its $1.5-billion investment, the Swedish company has tweaked its offerings to suit Indian tastes, starting with the restaurant, where "Smaklig Maltid - "Enjoy your Meal" in Swedish" is written on the wall. Soon after its opening, a wave of enthusiastic people went out to explore the new store which has a 1,000-seater restaurant.

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