Hyderabad: Swedish furniture retailer has finally launched the first India store. The store had been in the making for the past 6 years.
And pictures reveal that the store spread across 13 acres is gargantuan. In fact the store itself is spread over 4 lac sq ft, employing some 950 locals.
Telangana's IT Minister KT Rama Rao inaugurated this store, and reports suggested that actor Rajnikaanth was the first customer.
The first day grand launch had close to 6000 waiting in serpentine queues:
But once inside, it was just pomp and merry.
A tweet from the minister:
Welcome another marquee brand entering India through our own Hyderabad & Telangana— KTR (@KTRTRS) August 9, 2018
Along with Klas Molin, Ambassador, @swedeninIndia, Jesper Brodin, CEO, IKEA Group and Peter Betzel, CEO, IKEA India formally inaugurated IKEA store in Hyderabad today pic.twitter.com/Ea46oE70Ea
The large store will apparently be offering a mix of DIY furniture as well as cutlery, stuffed toys, and boxes. Ikea says that it has priced its products aggressively in order to woo customers.
Do read the catalog in detail, says this twitter user.
#IKEAHyderabad Warehouse. Study the catalogue before you visit the new store. You have thousands of decisions to make! Most of furniture items are flat-packed in easy-to-transport packages to facilitate easy self-delivery and self-assembly at home. @IKEAIndia @IKEA @SwedeninIndia pic.twitter.com/cHqlH83SXQ— Munna⚡Anurag (@UrsAnurag) August 8, 2018
IKEA says it has ensured everything such as ensuring hygienic food, in sync with it's global standards. In fact, the main attraction seems to be the giant cafeteria. A cafeteria that can accommodate 1000 seats and offer chicken meatballs, biryani, samosas, and vegetarian hot-dogs. To cater to Indian palate and sensitivities, beef and pork items have been dropped from the menu.
The menu also offers Coffee, bakes, and some Swedish specialties such as Salmon besides Yoghurt. Apparently a plate of meat balls is priced at Rs 149. We leave it upon customers to make a choice, considering a plate of meat-balls at that price doesn't really sound as price-cutting.
In case you are planning to visit, some users have pointed out that the parking was a good miles away.
The launch has been touted as innovative.
Swedes know how do it best.. we gotta lot to learn from them.. its not just about beautiful furniture or good food but the effort and thought they put in every little thing. Ikea India is now open #Welcome to #Hyderabad #ikeaindia pic.twitter.com/UhJkPp02MP— Sanjay Borra (@sanjayborra) August 9, 2018
Some inspiring smart ideas:
Spotted this morning on the conveyor belt at Hyderabad airport: lots of #Ikea cartons. All empty. Just announcing that the first Ikea store in India opens today! How cool is that. Take a bow - whoever thought of this innovation. And welcome to India @IKEAIndia pic.twitter.com/9YkrTgdZtq— Prakash Iyer (@prakashiyer) August 9, 2018
Losses expected for coming 6 years:
So after 12 years of planning & 1.5 Billion USD of investment #IKEA opens its 1st store in Hyderabad India. Plan to open their next stores in Mumbai & Bangalore. Expected to run in losses for the next 6 years. And people still think business is all about making money from day 1.— Arjun Jain (@arjjain) August 9, 2018
Ikea took some 12 years to study the India consumer and has spent close to billions just to get to the core of market research. In fact, the cost runs up to Rs 10 billion if sources are to be believed.
It has been reported that IKEA visited some 800 stores just to figure out the living style of Indians. IKEA has visited more than 800 homes in the country to see how people live and the launch on Thursday comes a good 12 years after it started showing interests of starting in India.
Previously, this launch was slated to commence on July 19, but IKEA officials wanted to ensure additional checks and hence postponed the launch by 3 weeks. IKEA claims a few more stores will be operationalized. So far we are unsure if it's Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Bengaluru. Space, seems like the issue here. But, then don't be surprised if you find one close home in a few months.
Also, whether this format of stores could sizzle the competition in the online-offline furniture market or even the retail industry is a big question. While IKEA claims that it's pricing competes against the likes of Amazon, local furniture shops and super-marts including Dmart and those of Kishore Biyani led Future Group have started taking notice of the new store and its offerings.