India

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

10 Aug 2018 | By Gogona Saikia
India's first IKEA opens in Hyderabad

India got its first IKEA store in Hyderabad yesterday. It was a hit: thousands lined up to check out the world-famous chain on Day-1 itself, creating a stampede-like situation.

For its India business, IKEA has revamped itself, combining its global style with local tastes. There's Taj Mahal and Biryani, and there's Swedish slogans and meatballs.

If you couldn't attend the opening, we bring to you a literary walk-through.

In context: India's first IKEA opens in Hyderabad

10 Aug 2018Missed IKEA's opening in Hyderabad? Walk through with us

Watch: People are excited to visit IKEA!

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How the Hyderabad store was born

StoreHow the Hyderabad store was born

The Hyderabad store, located in the heart of HITEC City area close to posh localities, is as big as 10 football grounds.

It materialized after painstaking research: teams visited 1,000 homes to understand Indians' needs, wants and preferences, the brand says.

There are some 7,500 products. A thousand have been made in India.

Two thousand items have been tailored for Indian customers.

UniqueSo what's new about IKEA?

For the first time, IKEA brings to India DIY furnishing: its furniture have to be assembled at your home, by yourself or an employed expert.

For your convenience, IKEA has set up complete concept rooms inside the store; you can select the items you like and purchase them from the market hall.

IKEA offers anything that your home needs - bedroom to dining room to kitchen to washroom.

The eatery at the Hyderabad store is IKEA's biggest globally!

A special attraction is the 1,000-seater eatery- IKEA's biggest globally. It offers a range of Indian and Swedish delicacies- from biryani at Rs. 99 to chicken meatballs at Rs. 149. There are no pork or beef items. The walls say "Smaklig Maltid"- 'Enjoy your Meal' in Swedish.

IndianizationYou can see 'India' on walls, products, even the business!

IKEA's product range has been customized for Indian customers. So while you'll get standard IKEA furniture like Billy bookshelves and Klippan "loveseats", there'll also be masala boxes and tawas.

Photos of the Taj Mahal and other Indian monuments stare at you from the walls, alongside Klimt's painting 'The Kiss' for a European taste.

To make it easier for you, IKEA is partnering up with UrbanClap, which will offer you handymen for setting up the furniture.

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AffordabilityThinking of the high costs? IKEA officials assure otherwise

The brand has assured it won't restrict its target base to just the upper middle-class and the rich. It says it has more than 1,000 products priced below Rs. 200.

You can get a six-bowl set with cutlery for Rs. 131, for example. A four-spoon set is available for as cheap as Rs. 15.

In India, "friends, families, festivals and food all happen at home," IKEA's Patrik Antoni said.

PlansIf you are staying here, you'll get an IKEA soon

Those of you staying in Navi Mumbai will get your own IKEA next summer, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi.

Stores have also been planned in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune and Surat, targeting India's $40bn home goods market.

The company is hoping to open 40 stores across India by 2025; the government has already approved 25 at an investment of Rs. 10,500cr.

PotentialSo what do locals think of the new giant?

Day-1 saw around 40,000 customers. IKEA expects average daily footfall of 30,000-35,000.

But industry insiders are uncertain. Satish Meena of Forrester Research says it'll have to greatly diversify in a country where "no two states have the same furniture demand."

"It will be a flop," said Siddharth, who runs a Hyderabad furniture store. "Regular consumers will stick with the solid wood in Indian markets."