Swedish home furnishings chain IKEA opened the doors of its first Bengaluru store to journalists on Tuesday, a day before its official launch in “India’s Silicon Valley”.
Spread over 12.2 acres, the 4,60,000-square feet store at Nagasandra features over 7,000 furnishing products, a large supervised children’s play area dubbed ‘Småland’ and a 1,000-seater restaurant and bistro featuring Swedish and Indian cuisine.
The launch comes nearly four years after the retailer termed Karnataka “a priority market” and unveiled plans to invest over Rs 2,000 crore over the long term in the state. In October 2018, IKEA said it would invest close to Rs 1,000 crore in its first Bengaluru store, which was expected to employ 800-1,000 direct coworkers and engage another 1,500 indirectly.
The large-format store, which was originally supposed to open in the summer of 2020, is connected to the Nagasandra Metro Station. The pandemic delayed its opening and made Ingka Group-owned IKEA first launch its ecommerce delivery channel in the city last year.
“IKEA Nagasandra will serve as a one-stop destination for all your home furnishing requirements,” IKEA’s Karnataka market manager Anje Heim has said. In her previous stint, Heim managed the Giheung (Seoul), South Korea market.
The Nagasandra Bengaluru store is the biggest of IKEA’s Indian arm. “We are developing the retail segment, driving employment and the agenda of diversity. The three things that we strive for is affordablily, accessibility and sustainability”, teh company’s India CEO Susanne Pulverer said.
IKEA, which is known for its clean designs and affordability, is a big hit abroad with people who swear by the “Do It Yourself” mantra. In other words, it targets people who prefer to decorate or repair their homes on their own rather than paying someone else to do it for them. In India, which is more of a “Do-It-For-Me” market, the company has partnered with companies that offer furniture assembly and installation services. Charges depend on the total cost of products to be assembled.
Services such as remote planning, personal shopper, and ‘click & collect’ will also be available at the Bengaluru store.
IKEA, which has been sourcing from India for over 35 years, designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories. It already has stores in Hyderabad and Mumbai, and sells to customers in other Indian cities such as Pune and Ahmedabad online.