Ikea starts off inaugural day with a bang

At the Hyderabad IKEA store. All

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. Slowly over the years, IKEA plans to source 50% goods locally to boost domestic manufacturers. This led to a massive traffic jam.

Swedish International Furniture Maker, IKEA finally opened its first Indian Store in Hyderabad on Thursday. And since children often sleep in the same room as their parents, one model bedroom includes a child's bed amid all the furniture.

IKEA, the world's leading home furnishings retailer, announced that steel framing has progressed far enough that installation of the iconic blue composite panels begins today on its future San Antonio-area store.

As the sprawling store has come up in the heart of HITEC City, majority of the customers were techies from information technology companies.

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And Siddharth, in charge of a Hyderabad store where customers order bespoke furniture, said Ikea might attract hard-up students but in general people would stick with "quality". "One is the Swedish unique range and one is the local range", the company said. People queued up outside the gates even before the store could throw them open. Along with the Swedish classics, Indian customers will find masala boxes, idli pans and colourful textiles. 'We conducted over 1,000 home visits to understand the culture and the demands of consumers, and ensure affordability, ' says Ulf Smedberg, country marketing manager, Ikea India, who has spent the past four years in the country.

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.

It was worth the wait, as they were ushered into the swanky, bright and colourful store hosting over 7,500 products to sounds of military band and the employees cheering them. It also tailored 2,000 products from its range to suit Indian needs, taking into consideration climatic realities such as dust and humidity.

Several visitors were seen in the 1,000-seater restaurant, which is the biggest for IKEA in its global network. Like the products, the food is also affordable with biryani priced at Rs 99 and chicken meat balls Rs 149.

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