IKEA's Hyderabad Store Attracts 40,000 Customers On First Day

IKEA's researched for more than a decade before entering the Indian market

About 10,000 customers had visited the store by 4 pm but the crowds swelled later as thousands of techies headed to the place while returning home from offices.

"I have no plans to blow a lot of money today, maybe just buy some kitchenware, but this is going to be a destination for me", said Rajani Venugopal, a businesswoman who waited about an hour and managed to be the first person in the doors.

Inside the store, many shoppers said they were excited to discover that the India store is no different from any other IKEA store, be it in Sweden, US or Singapore.

An Indian girl checks furniture at the new IKEA store in Hyderabad on Aug 9, 2018.

Located in the heart of HITEC City, the information technology hub, and close to the posh localities, the store appears to be created to target upper middle-class and the rich. The opening of its first store here was scheduled for July 19 this year but the company again pushed it back by nearly 20 days to August 9, citing quality commitments. The store and the competitive pricing of some of the items is a delight for those looking to do up their homes, with elegantly designed furniture, home decorations items, colourful accessories and knick knacks inviting shoppers to pick them up and take them home. However, Ikea claims it is for everyone, irrespective of size of their wallet.

It has invested Rs 1,000 crore on the Hyderabad store alone, which would have a range of around 7,500 products. One finds a set of four spoons for as low as Rs 15. We did not know this.

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Ikea, in tune with its philosophy, has come out with home furnishing solutions for India by taking people's inputs. "We met and interacted with 1,000 Indian families to understand what were their dreams, their frustrations and what they want". There are now 403 IKEA stores in 49 countries with a sales volume of 38.3 billion euro.

Alongside standard IKEA furniture like Billy bookshelves and Klippan "loveseats", the chain will offer "locally relevant products" like masala boxes, Indian frying pans called tawas, rice cake makers and mattresses with a coconut-fibre centre.

IKEA has been sourcing material from India for its global stores for more than 30 years.

It also has a 1,000-seater restaurant, IKEA's largest globally.

Like the products, the food is also affordable with biryani priced at Rs 99 and chicken meat balls Rs 149.

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