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Ikea is finally here: Swedish giant opens first Indian store in Hyderabad

Press Trust of India/Hyderabad 09 Aug 18 | 11:31 AM

Ikea facility Hyderabad

Swedish home furnishings major IKEA on Thursday 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.

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The company, which has employed 950 people directly and another 1,500 indirectly at its store here, plans to hire 15,000 in the coming years as it expands operations in India.

IKEA Group CEO Jesper Brodin said the opening of the first store in India marks a milestone in the company's journey here which began over three decades ago through sourcing of products.

"We have a long-term commitment to India, which is an important market for us," he added.

ALSO READ: How Ikea makes local shoppers feel at home in its stores across the world

The store here is the first of 25 such outlets planned to be set up in India by 2025. In 2013, IKEA received a nod from the government to invest Rs 105 billion in single-brand retail.

IKEA had originally planned to open its first store in India by 2017, but it was delayed. The opening of its first store here was scheduled for July 19 this year but the company again pushed it back by almost 20 days to August 9, citing quality commitments.

Out of the total outlay of Rs 105 billion, the company has so far invested Rs 45 billion in its different projects in India.

It has invested Rs 10 billion on the Hyderabad store alone, which would have a range of around 7,500 products. The store is spread over 13 acres of land and has a built up area of 400,000 sq ft.

ALSO READ: Ikea's first India store opens today, aims to reach 200 mn people in 3 yrs

The company said it would increase its investments in India as it looks to accelerate expansion in the country faster than it would usually do elsewhere.

"As we see big opportunities in India, we believe that we will increase this investment as we continue expansion in India in future," it said.

Besides retail, IKEA said it will also enter e-commerce segment in India by next year, besides exploring small format stores as part of its India expansion plans.

"We want to be accessible... we will try our best to speed up our expansion to move quicker than normally we do in IKEA," Brodin stated.

ALSO READ: IKEA to keep prices low for cost-conscious Indians amid high import taxes

After Hyderabad, Ikea's second store would be in Mumbai next year, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR.

He said the company has also identified four more cities in India where it plans to set up its stores but did not disclose details.

Commenting on the company's recruitment plans, IKEA India HR Manager Anna-Carin Mansson said the company's aim is to make retail an attractive career choice for young people in the country.

"Our aim is to recruit 15,000 people...in the coming years," she added.

IKEA said is has adopted a "non-negotiable" approach to hire 50 per cent women at all levels in India, even "including forklift drivers and assembling co-workers".

It said it will offer delivery and assembly service to its customers who are not familiar with the DIY (do it yourself) concept.

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