IKEA ends speculation, buys land for 1st store
Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA Group has materialised its plans to take over the Indian furniture market by buying land in Hyderabad. It has bought a 13-acre property located near the IT hub in Hyderabad's HITEC city. IKEA is planning to launch 25 stores across India in the cities of Bangalore, Delhi NCR and Mumbai.
IKEA becomes world furniture giant
IKEA is a Swedish multinational furniture giant that makes and retails "ready-to-assemble" furniture. In January 2008, it officially became the largest retailer of furniture in the world. IKEA Group sells accessories, kitchen fixtures and products and bathrooms through its retail stores. It has expanded to 28 countries with 323 stores and approximately 45 stores operated by franchisees.
IKEA's owner one of the world's richest
IKEA was founded in 1943 in Sweden by the 17 year old Ingvar Kamprad. In 2013, Kampard was listed as one of the richest people in the world.
IKEA to come to India
In May 2013, India approved Swedish furniture retailer IKEA's bid to invest Rs. 105 billion ($1.95 billion) in the country. This would be the largest planned investment by a foreign company in India since India started allowing 100% foreign ownership in single-brand retail ventures in 2011. Other than selling furniture, IKEA had also sought approval to run cafes and restaurants in its retail stores.
Thumbs-up to women empowerment
IKEA is a brand that pushes for women empowerment globally. In UP's Bhadohi, it helped Eastern Home (carpet manufacturer) train 300 women, providing them with a means of livelihood.
IKEA signs agreement with 2 Indian states
IKEA Group has moved a step closer to opening its stores in India after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian states of Karnataka and Telangana. IKEA will be investing nearly $82 million in the state of Karnataka for the "development of a supply chain infrastructure" and new retail stores. Each store would entail a $100 million investment.
Remodeling the Indian furniture market
IKEA conducted two "Make more in India" seminars in Bengaluru and Mumbai to seek 100 potential suppliers. It is diversifying its existing suppliers, for e.g. Associated Lighting is branching out from lamps to make metal furniture. IKEA is pushing for sustainable growth by employing international norms: no child labour, water recycling etc. It's also pushing for automation by helping small suppliers open factory units.
IKEA's symbiotic relationship with India
India is "the third most important market" as it gives opportunity "to source, retail, conduct CSR initiatives" for the IKEA Foundation. Since the last 24 years the Swedish major has been sourcing from India and is planning to double its sourcing volumes in India by 2020. 50 IKEA suppliers have presently employed 45,000 people in India and another 400,000 in its extended supply chain.
Third product development unit in India
Highlighting India's importance for the IKEA group, it will be setting up a product development unit in India. There are only 2 such units (Sweden, China) in the world.