IKEA to open small city outlets along with mega formats in India supported by online channel

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA plans to open small city outlets along with its mega format stores in India supported by online channel, according to a senior company official

This change in strategy is brought on due to a change in consumer behaviour.

The company, which had in 2013, received government approval for its Rs 10,500 crore investment for opening stores in India, had planned 10 furnishing stores as well as allied infrastructure in over 10 years in India.

IKEA later planned to open 15 more stores. So far it has set up three mega format stores in Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai and Bengaluru and two city centres in Mumbai.

“A little bit slowed down during the COVID period but we are also learning from the first markets we have opened,” IKEA India CEO Susanne Pulverer told the Press Trust of India in an interview when asked about the impact of the pandemic on the company’s expansion plans in the country.

On the way forward, she said, We need to be close to where people are. So that’s when we also looked at smaller formats that are still relatively big for Indian retail.

When asked if that meant tweaking the company’s strategy in India, Pulverer said, Yes, it is. Not only in India, but it’s also a global phenomenon that we see. It’s not enough with the big store outside (city). People don’t have time, maybe not having a car, they are not always willing to take all the things home, they want it delivered. Then we can be closer to people and have different ways of meeting them.

Susanne Pulverer, CEO & CSO, IKEA India

So, it will be omnichannel, she said adding, “It’s the big IKEA full experience and it’s smaller formats, maybe even smaller, where you can come and plan and get service for designing your home.”

Pulverer said IKEA is still in the investment phase of its approved FDI and further investments have not been lined up although the furniture retailer is committed to the Indian market in the long term.

“We believe we will have many more stores and we will have omni channel because we see that is the future. The combination, and how many, what year I’m not ready to share yet. We are working with these plans, she said.

Pulverer said the current contribution from the online channel to the overall sales is around 30%, having increased during the pandemic and staying high.

Ikea is also offering products online through the website or App to its customers in cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodara.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti