IKEA Hyderabad Store: IKEA will directly employ 950 people at its store in Hyderabad.
Hyderabad: World's largest furniture retailer IKEA opened its first store in India today with a massive 400,000-square-foot showroom on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The store houses some 7,500 products of the Swedish brand. IKEA has invested over Rs 10 billion for its India foray and eyes to open stores in all major cities in the country over the next few years.
Here are 10 facts on IKEA's big India debut:
IKEA expects to welcome six million consumers every year to its store in Hitec City, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The store is built on a 13-acre land.
IKEA will sell 1,000 items including cutlery and toys for less than Rs 200 at its Hyderabad store. The store will be home to about 7,500 products including the retailer's signature DIY (Do It Yourself) furniture.
The company is now looking at Asia and South America for its next phase of growth as sales slow in Europe and other developed markets. IKEA is betting on India's growing middle class and plans to launch 25 stores in all major cities by 2025.
IKEA's entry to India comes after over a decade of planning and research. The company has made a number of changes to its offering suit the Indian needs. Alongside IKEA's signature Billy bookcases and Poang chairs, the store will offer appliance to make idlis and also spice boxes.
The Hyderabad store will also house a 1,000-seat cafeteria, among India's largest. Changes have also been made to the menu to suit local tastes and sensitivities. IKEA's most famous item is off the menu - Swedish meatballs - instead, the cafe will serve biryani and samosas and dal makhani.
IKEA will directly employ 950 people at its store in Hyderabad and 1,500 people additional jobs will be created, Bloomberg quoted a company spokesperson as saying. The company plans to have 15,000 staff in the country by 2025. IKEA has said that half of its India workforce would be women.
IKEA is apprehensive about its DIY model working in India and so has tied-up with UrbanClap and set up a 150-member team to help assemble furniture. The online platform helps connect consumers to local services like carpenters.
The company first tried to enter India in 2006 but could not owing to strict foreign direct investment (FDI) rules. The rules required a foreign player to sign up with a local partner. The rules were later relaxed allowing IKEA to enter the country.
The firm has already bought land in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurgaon, near Delhi. The Mumbai store will open in 2019, followed by the store in Bengaluru and Gurgaon. The other cities IKEA is looking at are Kolkata, Chennai, Pune and Ahmedabad.
IKEA's competitors in India include popular online brands Pepperfry and Urban Ladder. Godrej Interio, Future Group's HomeTown and Durian Furnitures are the other competitors IKEA will face in the country, where furniture business is largely non-branded.