July is here, and the wait for many among India’s upwardly-mobile is about to get over: IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retail company is launching its first store in India, in Hyderabad. The store, to open on 19 July, will offer around 7,500 products – with about 1000 products priced at below Rs 200. As of now, up to 20 per cent of the products will be sourced from local manufacturers. The store will employ around 1,000 employees, of which 50 per cent will be women. It will also house a 1,000-seater restaurant, and has also tied up with logistics-major GATI for home delivery-cum-help services.
After Hyderabad, the company intends to launch its store in Mumbai, and then Bengaluru and Gurgaon. These stores will be for experiential shopping, after which the transition to online shopping will be made.
For four years, the Swedish company was in the process of setting up shop in India, which included acquiring land, design and construction, product sourcing, recruitment, and so on. CEO-India Peter Betzel said that the journey so far has been satisfying in the country, while stressing the need for further rationalization of the regulatory framework and labor laws across states -- if retailers were to be encouraged.
Hyderabad was chosen because in the process of discussions with state governments over the years, they found Telangana to be the most supportive and cooperative, starting with explaining the rules of the state, helping find land and ensuring a good start”, Patrik Antoni, Deputy Country Manager, IKEA India had told Yourstory, a few months ago. Patrik had also added that GST has made sourcing and transportation much easier. This makes the range more affordable so that customers get value for money.”
Hyderabad was also Iconic US bike-maker Harley Davidson’s choice of destination, when launching its first showroom in India, in 2010.
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