What an IKEA!!!

The world’s hottest-selling Swedish brand is finally ready to retail in India

Last week, the 75-year-old Swedish retailer finally opened its massive 13-acres flagship store in Hyderabad. To remain open all 365 days of the year, with a whopping spend of Rs 4500 crore, a cost overrun that it probably hadn’t foreseen, it’s the first of 25 such outlets planned, across India, beginning with in Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, and Bengaluru, over the coming months. Soon the brand also plans to roll out its e-commerce platform.

Nestled between tall office buildings and under-construction sites, the 400,000-square-foot outlet is the culmination of years of research and an investment of Rs1,000 crore ($146 million), reported news portal Quartz. At this maiden store, the home furnishing and accessories brand expects to draw some 7 million shoppers annually.

Going with a two-pronged India-centric strategy of affordability and accessibility, the company has worked hard at localizing its global offerings. It’s enough to give rival brands sleepless nights, which have come out with their own brand of ambush marketing. Economic Times reported that Kishor Biyani’s home furnishing chain, Home-Town, strategically placed ads on the walls just across the IKEA outlet with the words, “What’s not there, is here.”

But this attack may not work, as IKEA has already upped the stake with their 12-years long, intensive research on the Indian market, based on field visits to 1000 homes and its customer’s “price-sensitivity.” The in-house 1,000-seater restaurant wares samosas for Rs10, a portion of famous Hyderabadi biryani for Rs 99, and IKEA’s signature chicken balls for just Rs149.

In addition, the company has also introduced a do-it-yourself (DIY) furniture, range, where Indian shoppers can design their own furniture in their own pocket-friendly budget.

There are several other “firsts” attached to this store. The solar roof panels on the store will power IKEA’s fleet of delivery auto rickshaws, and serviced by over 950 on-ground staff, the Hyderabad store could count as the retailer’s largest ever headcount.

“We want to make promises today,” IKEA CEO Jesper Brodin told reporters at a press conference on Aug. 08. “The first promise is, we will try to become affordable…[offering] 1,000 products below Rs200 is a good start. We want to meet many more Indians with our affordable price. Secondly, we want to be accessible. From tomorrow, we will be accessible in Hyderabad, and now we will take our efforts to speed up our expansion…we are already ready with a spade in the ground in several parts of India.”

For starters, the store would offer around 1,000 products, such as chopping boards, coffee mugs, hand towels etc. priced under Rs 200. Armchairs are priced at Rs 4,990 (onwards) and India-made Lack table at Rs 599.

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