Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Area IKEA on track to open months ahead of schedule

Area IKEA on track to open months ahead of schedule

"I used to shop in the IKEA store in California and was waiting for it to open in India".

At the groundbreaking ceremony in March, officials announced that the furniture superstore was expected to open Summer 2019. IKEA spokesperson Latisha Bracy confirmed to KENS 5 that they are "now on schedule to open" as soon as January.

Swedish home furnishings major IKEA, which opened its first store in India on Thursday, received a sweet welcome by online furniture and home décor company Urban Ladder. But back in 2013, when IKEA was scouting for a suitable place to set up its first store, Hyderabad didn't even figure on its list. "I have never been to an Ikea store before".

The store was formally inaugurated by Telangana's Industry Minister K.T. Rama Rao along with first customer Rajni Venugopal, IKEA Group CEO Jesper Brodin and Sweden's Ambassador to India Klas Molin. It is located in the midst of IT hub at walkable distance from Raheja mindspace, hi-tech city. The store and the competitive pricing of some of the items is a delight for those looking to do up their homes, with elegantly designed furniture, home decorations items, colourful accessories and knick knacks inviting shoppers to pick them up and take them home.

Though shoppers began trickling in from 10am, the store opening time, the numbers swelled as the day progressed and shoppers continuted to flock the outlet till the closing time of 11pm. However, Ikea claims it is for everyone, irrespective of size of their wallet. It spans over 4 lakh sq ft of built up space and has stocked more than 7,500 items.

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"We have changed quite a lot for India". We did not know this.

Alongside standard IKEA furniture like Billy bookshelves and Klippan "loveseats", the chain will offer "locally relevant products" like masala boxes, Indian frying pans called tawas, rice cake makers and mattresses with a coconut-fibre centre. IKEA so far employed 950 people directly and another 1,500 indirectly at its store. It also tailored 2,000 products from its range to suit Indian needs, taking into consideration climatic realities such as dust and humidity.

Several visitors were seen in the 1,000-seater restaurant, which is the biggest for IKEA in its global network.

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

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