Ikea India launches with Hyderabad megastore

By Wale Azeez, business reporter
Swedish home furnishing giant Ikea will make its second attempt at penetrating the market in India  when it opens its first store in the country on Thursday.
Ikea's 13-acre (5.3 hectare) inaugural site will be on the outskirts of the southern city of Hyderabad, where the company said it expects to generate up to seven million visitors per year.
The Hyderabad store is the first of 25 outlets planned to open across India by 2025 and it follows Ikea's previous attempt in 2006 to reach the country's burgeoning middle class which fell foul of local regulations.The Swedish company said it is investing $1.5bn (€1.2bn) in India, as it plans to lure its rising middle class away from local furniture makers.Ikea plans to open outlets in the financial capital Mumbai next year, followed by Bangalore and New Delhi, in a strategy that it hopes will help secure a share of India's estimated $40bn home goods market.But analysts warn that profits won't come quickly or easily to the global furniture company.Satish Meena, analyst at research firm Forrester said: "Ikea will have to focus on staff training, the right mix of branding and reaching out to more customers in smaller cities and towns. Profitability will take time."
Ikea India launches with Hyderabad megastore

CEO Jesper Brodin said Ikea will meet Indian consumer 'needs, frustrations and dreams'
Ikea chief executive Jesper Brodin said the company would strive to meet the "needs, frustrations and dreams" of local consumers.
At a news conference on the eve of the store's grand opening, Mr Brodin said: "We bring an inspiring, affordable and convenient home furnishing offer."We promise to give great quality at affordable prices and try to expand quickly and reach other parts of the country with multiple stores."Brodin said that with Ikea's second attempt at Indian stores the retailer, which has 355 stores across 29 countries, has given Ikea's business model a local twist, to try to attract a large middle class not used to a company expecting its customers to assemble the products themselves.Differences between Hyderabad and the furniture giant's 355 outlets elsewhere will include a 1,000-seater restaurant, which is its biggest worldwide.
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"We have changed quite a lot for India. We have two ranges. One is the Swedish unique range and one is the local range," the company said.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.
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