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Published on: June 25, 2022, 6:55 p.m.
IKEA, finally Benga‘lured’
  • Located in the north western part of Bengaluru, the store is expected to attract more than five million visitors annually

By Suman Tarafdar

IKEA's third ‘big box’ store has opened yet another city in India – and its effective home base in the country, Bengaluru, to its unique offerings. Combating delays, largely pandemic induced, the store is expected to get residents of another Indian metropolis to Ikea. Located in the north western part of the city, the store is expected to attract more than five million visitors annually.

IKEA, which has committed an investment of Rs3,000 crore in Karnataka, is also looking to increase its percentage of locally sourced products. The move will create job opportunities and increase incomes by local sourcing in home furnishings production, feels Susanne Pulverer, CEO, IKEA India. Some 27 per cent of the store’s 7,000 SKUs are produced in India, she points out. The company aims to raise its percentage of locally made products. India had earlier decreed that, within five years of operations, 30 per cent of the products must be locally sourced.

Ikea had earlier announced significant investments in India (Rs10,500 crore) to set up stores across major cities. While the retailer has been skillful in creating a buzz for its new openings, its announced current pipeline of future projects in the country sees it expand to Delhi NCR, where the first stores are expected by 2025 in Gurgaon and Noida, for which it announced an investment of Rs7,000 crore. Delhi, along with the cities it is currently open in, are its ‘focus markets’ for India, and, for the moment, the brand will concentrate in these geographies.

Pulverer seems satisfied by IKEA's rate of growth in India, acknowledging that the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and inflation had impacted the company. “We need to be a financially sound business, but we also measure success in how good we are in making our customers and coworkers happy,” she says. “With our growing retail presence, IKEA India will be a strong contributor to increase the overall home furnishing market. It will give opportunities for a growing eco-system for the whole industry, including growing people and skills. We continue to stand by our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people."

The pandemic has also accelerated a move toward a more omni-channel approach, with online sales increasing significantly during the pandemic. For a brand whose top selling point is the store experience, it has been a steep learning curve. Indeed, its online sales channel has been limited to six cities in the country, about half of which are in Gujarat. Meanwhile, “While we are an omni-channel retailer, the IKEA stores are iconic and will remain important places, where our customers meet our home furnishing offerings, get inspired and find relevant products best suited for their home,” says Pulverer. The blue and yellow box in Nagasandra allows just that.

What to expect at IKEA Nagasandra

  The store is spread over 12.2 acres and is located next to the Nagasandra metro station in north west Bengaluru.

The 460,000 sq ft IKEA Nagasandra store is – like other IKEA stores – spread over essentially two floors.

 The store features more than 7,000 home furnishing products. Yes, Billy is there, so are Gammalbyn and Malm. If you are going to be an Ikea ‘family member’ i.e. regular, get familiar with the brand’s unique product names.

The store has 65+ room sets for visitors to get ideas and inspirations for their homes.

 The store also houses one of the largest children’s play areas, ‘Småland’.

 It has a 1,000-seater restaurant and a bistro serving a mix of Swedish and Indian delicacies with many vegetarian and vegan food options to choose from.

 Hemmed into its neighbourhood, this store has about 1,000 members in its team, 72 per cent of whom are local.

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