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Ikea Launches Its First Retail Outlet In India

Ikea Launches Its First Retail Outlet In India
It has been a long wait – for years, for the Swedish furniture company Ikea, to enter one of the largest consumer markets in the world – India
The first retail store was launched by the Swedish furniture company in the Southern city of Hyderabad for Indian consumers and the company is expecting to see a footfall of about 7 million a year.
The new store which has a total display area of 400,000 square feet in Hyderabad is a part of the plans of the company to make investments of up to 105 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) in India during the next few years.
The objective of the company is to set up a total of 25 such retail stores throughout the major cities of India by the year 2025. The company has set the target of 2019 to launch its second store in the country in the Western city of Mumbai which is also the financial and business capital of the country. That would be followed by Ikea retail stores in the cities of Bangalore in South of India and Gurgaon, in Northern part of the country and on the outskirts of Delhi.
The ultimate strategy of the company is to create a network of its retail stores throughout India by setting up stores in more than 40 Indian cities. According to company information, as much as 10 billion rupees ($145 million) would be expended by it for the launch of each of the the India market.
"We are making a long-term commitment," Ikea's India CEO Peter Betzel told reporters in Hyderabad on Wednesday. "India will be the future."
India is a hugely attractive proposition as a consumer market because of the huge population base of over 1.3 billion people and among them about 50 per cent are below the age of 25 years, said Betzel.
This is however not the first association of the company with India, it has been about three decades now that Ikea has been sourcing materials for its global operations from India. however., an earlier attempt by the company to open its retail stores was unsuccessful because of a policy of the government then which prevented the setting up 100 per cent foreign ownership in singly brand retailing. That clause was lifted in 2017 allowing Ikea to set foot in the Indian market as an independent seller.

However, the company reportedly still faced problems in launching its first outlet in the Indian market. The launch that took place on Thursday was supposed to happen about a month back but quality issues forced the company to postpone the launch.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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