Economy

Missed IKEA's opening in Hyderabad? Walk through with us

Missed IKEA's opening in Hyderabad? Walk through with us

Even on a Friday, the store witnessed rush of people and the company expects the footfall to grow multi-fold in the upcoming weekend. There were many expatriates and the Indians who earlier lived overseas and knew the brand.

As the sprawling store has come up in the heart of HITEC City, the majority of the customers were techies from information technology companies. It will offer 7,500 affordable, good quality, value for money home furnishing products, all under one roof.

Until the store opens, local customers can shop at the closest IKEA stores in Houston and Round Rock, or online at IKEA-USA.com.

IKEA laid the foundation stone of its store in Hyderabad on August 11, 2016. It will exhibit 2 full homes that reflect life at Home in Hyderabad, besides different room sets based on different parts of the home like bedroom, kitchen, children's room and living room. "One is the Swedish Unique range and one is the local range", food manager Henrik Osterstrom told AFP.

To try and ensure it recoups its $1.5-billion investment, the Swedish company has tweaked its offerings to suit Indian tastes, starting with the restaurant, where "Smaklig Maltid - "Enjoy your Meal" in Swedish" is written on the wall.

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IKEA's goal, says Betzel, is to reach 200 million people in the next 3 years. IKEA so far employed 950 people directly and another 1,500 indirectly at its store. Next year, it also plans to start e-commerce so that customers in other locations can also start buying IKEA products.

Analysts say, however, that the firm's concept of affordable, self-assembly furniture may have trouble translating to a market where do-it-yourself homemaking is an alien idea and spending levels are low. The store also stocks at least 500 products that are priced under 100 rupees (US$1.5).

Ikea, whose founder Ingvar Kamprad died in January, is present in 49 countries. Ikea's 400,000-square-foot Hyderabad store is the first step in the retailer's plans for India, with more outlets scheduled to debut in Mumbai, Bengaluru and the New Delhi area soon after.

In terms of the kind of customers visiting the store, Smeberg informed that they are mostly seeing families of four and also a lot of older crowd is also taking a tour of the store.