Hyderabad: Swedish home furnishings retailer Ikea will open its Hyderabad store on Thursday, marking the entry of the company into India, with its first store in the country. The store spread over 4,00,000 sq ft and spread over 13 acres will offer 7,500 products. The store expects to host about seven million visitors each year.
The Rs 1,000-crore store will sell 1,000 products that are made in India. And 20 per cent of the products are locally sourced.
The Ikea store employs 950 co-workers in Hyderabad and about 1,500 indirectly. The company has non-negotiable commitment to hire 50 per cent women co-workers at all levels. The store has employed about 150 girls from the Disha (a collaborative training for Telangana women weavers) pilot project.
When asked what is unique about the store, Ikea Hyderabad Store Manager John Achillea told Telangana Today, “We are a global company and understand the markets closely wherever we enter. We are trying to develop a range of local products. We have agreed with the government that we will ensure 30 per cent of local sourcing. We actually want to surpass that mark. We are tying up with suppliers globally for different products. For specific products such as mattresses, we have tied up with a supplier in Hyderabad. And these supplies will also go to our global stores.”
He added, “We broke ground at the site exactly two years back and today the store is ready for our customers. We have created a team of close to 1,000 co-workers. I have never worked with such a large team anywhere at Ikea. We will train and skill the existing workforce so that they contribute to our Hyderabad operations.”
‘Our store will provide 1,000 products that will be below Rs 200. Products had been created keeping in mind the learning from our customer and market studies,” Peter Betzel, Ikea India CEO said.
Ikea Group CEO Jesper Brodin, “We are going to focus on affordability, quality and accessibility of products. We will tap the e-commerce platform soon. We are taking up sustainability initiatives such as use of solar panels, water treatment and rain water harvesting both in Hyderabad and upcoming stores. We are using 100 per cent LED lights to meet our lighting needs. We are going run 20 per cent of our fleet on electric vehicles.”
Ramesh Abhishek, secretary, DIPP, Government of India, said, “Telangana government has proactively extended its support to Ikea and has created conducive environment to Ikea to set up its first store in the country. Such ecosystem will attract more such companies to Hyderabad.”
Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary, Industries, Telangana, said, “We are at the cusp of making history with the India’s first store in Hyderabad. Ikea is known for its women employment and sustainability initiatives. We have provided the necessary infrastructure backing for the store and have revised labour policies. The government is creating attractive environment for investors to opt for Hyderabad.”
Among the major attractions, the store houses a 1,000-seater restaurant, Ikea’s largest such restaurant anywhere in the world. The restaurant will have a café whoch will offers coffee, bakes, frozen yogurt. It will offer 50 per cent Swedish specialties and 50 per cent local delicacies.
The store will also exhibit two full homes besides different room sets based on different parts of the home like bedroom, kitchen, children’s room and living room. It will also have a market hall where customers can find home kitchen utensils and accessories, textiles, lighting, decoration, stationary and plants. Ikea will also offer locally relevant products such as masala boxes, pressure cookers, tawas, idli makers, mattresses made with coconut fibre, bed sheets etc. Customers will also be able to buy global classics such as Billy Bookcase, Klippan Sofa, Lack Table and Poang armchair among others.
Ikea will present 500 sustainable products. All textiles are made from 100 per cent cotton. The stores will provide in-house and outsourced assemblers, pick and delivery and home planning consultants.