IKEA opens country’s first store in Hyderabad

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

IKEA will be opening 40 such stores in years to come in Navi Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata. Store open throughout the week from 10 am to 11 pm.

"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.

Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea witnessed huge response from customers yesterday as over 40,000 people visited Ikea's first store in India in Hyderabad on the launch day.

Patrick Antoni, Deputy CEO, IKEA India, had said on Wednesday that they are expecting an average daily footfall of 30,000 to 35,000. It is located in the midst of IT hub at walkable distance from Raheja mindspace, hi-tech city. It designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories.

The opening ceremony in the city of Hyderabad on Thursday was attended by Klas Molin, the Swedish ambassador to India, and K Taraka Rama Rao, the state minister for Telangana. By 2025, the company hopes to have 25 stores in the country. However, Ikea claims it is for everyone, irrespective of size of their wallet.

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Well ahead of the formal opening of the 400,000-sq. ft. facility, developed on 13 acres, several customers were waiting in the queue lines in front of the entry gate. "We found love for homes is very big in India". We did not know this. "We met and interacted with 1,000 Indian families to understand what were their dreams, their frustrations and what they want". "The best part is that this store looks the same as IKEA's other global stores". It developed products for local needs including masala boxes, pressure cookers, tawas, idli makers, colourful sheets and mattresses made with coconut fibre centre.

The changes compared with Ikea elsewhere start with the restaurant - "Smaklig Maltid - Enjoy your Meal in Swedish" is written on the wall - with space for 1,000 people, the firm's biggest.

Jesper Brodin took note of it and visited India only on the condition that Pradeep should convince him on why IKEA should set up their first store in Hyderabad.

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

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