IKEA Hyderbad store attracts 40000 customers on first day

At the Hyderabad IKEA store. All

At the Hyderabad IKEA store. All

The differences between Hyderabad and the furniture giant's 400-odd outlets elsewhere start in the 1,000-seater restaurant, its biggest worldwide and according to Ikea "possibly India's largest".

The IKEA store in Hyderabad is the first of 25 such outlets planned to be set up in India by 2025. IKEA is famous for its affordable and ready to assemble furniture.

A plate of eight vegetarian meatballs will cost 129 rupees. And if walking around the very large store gets exhausting, a hot cup of coffee with a samosa or cinnamon bun can be an immediate energy booster.

Swedish home furnishings major IKEA on Thursday (August 9) opened its first store in India, kicking off its retail journey five years after it received approval to invest in the country's single-brand retail sector. "There were also a few tense moments when some people tried breaking queues", store manager John Achillea said.

The future IKEA Live Oak will feature almost 10,000 exclusively designed items, multiple inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children's play area, and a restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. The shopping experience on the first day is however cumbersome, we are told. "We met and interacted with 1,000 Indian families to understand what were their dreams, their frustrations and what they want".

It has already acquired land at Navi Mumbai, Gurugram and Bengaluru and has begun work on the Mumbai property, which is expected to be ready by summer of 2019.

He promised that IKEA will offer affordability with great quality, accessibility with more stores and digital platform and it will be leader in sustainability.

Alongside standard Ikea furniture, "locally relevant products" such as masala boxes, Indian frying pans, rice cake makers and mattresses with a coconut-fibre centre, will be on offer.

"No two states or cities have the same furniture demand and behaviour, lifestyle and culture vary from one region to another".

Locals in Hyderabad meanwhile were sceptical. "I have never been to an IKEA store before. Indian wood is much better". "The regular furniture consumer will stay with the more solid wood available in the Indian market".

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