Inside IKEA Hyderabad store on opening day: Band, baaja, bedlam

Sofas And Spoons In Demand As IKEA Opens First Store In India

Sofas And Spoons In Demand As IKEA Opens First Store In India

Swedish International Furniture Maker, IKEA finally opened its first Indian Store in Hyderabad on Thursday. Nearly after a decade's struggle, IKEA entered the Indian market with its first retail store in Hyderabad. About 10,000 customers had visited the store by 4 pm but the crowds swelled later as thousands of office goers headed to the shopping place while returning home from offices. "There were also a few tense moments when some people tried breaking queues", store manager John Achillea said.

The company is revising its investment plan, taking into consideration the country's economic growth and geographical dividend. As IKEA opened doors of its store serpentine-like traffic jams were seen outside on the main road.

Not only will Ikea have to convince Indian consumers that assembling furniture yourself is the best way of life. "We have every product under one roof, so whether you are looking for a sofa, bed, children's furniture, or home accessories for every room, it's all under one roof".

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.

Hyderabad store has come up over 13 acres in the heart of HITEC City, the information technology hub.

The restaurant can accommodate almost a thousand people and is one of the biggest restaurants among all IKEA's in-store restaurants worldwide.

Ikea, which has stores in 49 countries, has a mixed global range with the local needs and realities.

IKEA's next store will open in Navi Mumbai in next summer, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi. IKEA, according to the company officials, has been sourcing from India for the last 30 years and in value terms crossed the 350 million euro mark, which is about 2,500 crore. IKEA is a world-class furniture store which offers good-looking furniture at an affordable price. Along with the Swedish classics, Indian customers will find masala boxes, idli pans and colourful textiles. "We met and interacted with 1,000 Indian families to understand what were their dreams, their frustrations and what they want".

The man behind IKEA picking Hyderabad for its India foray is Principal Secretary (Industries) at the time, Pradeep Chandra.