Ikea online store in India likely by March next year

Bengaluru: Swedish furniture and home furnishings retailer Ikea of Sweden AB will start its online retail operations in India by March 2019, Ikea India chief executive Peter Betzel said on Thursday. The company, which launched its first India store in Hyderabad on 9 August, will invest ₹ 1,000 crore for its 500,000 sq. ft Bengaluru outlet, which is expected to open in the summer of 2020. Its Mumbai store is set to go live later this year.

Ikea online store in India likely by March next year

“Bengaluru is truly cosmopolitan with many people moving in to find new opportunities. With the Ikea store, we will contribute to a better everyday life for all Bengalureans with well-designed, functional home-furnishing solutions.” said Betzel.

The Bengaluru store will have a parking space for 2,000 cars and a 1,000-seater restaurant, besides a supervised children’s play area, Småland, the company said.

It will employ 800-1,000 direct employees and engage another 1,500 indirectly.

According to the home furnishings retailer, Karnataka is a priority market, and it will invest over ₹ 2,000 crore in the state in the long run. Ikea also reiterated its 2016 target of opening 25 stores in India by 2025, and aims to be present in 49 cities by 2030.

The company had spent over a decade studying the local market, before opening the doors to its 400,000 sq. ft store in Hyderabad after several delays. It has invested ₹ 800 crore so far to set up its first store.

Ikea said its priority was to meet its quality commitments towards customers and co-workers, and alluded that India offers a significant enough market opportunity that is worth being patient for.

But its run has so far not been without glitches. Less than a month after its Hyderabad store opened, the food court operating out of its premises came under severe criticism after a customer tweeted a photo of a caterpillar in a dish of vegetable biryani, followed by a similar complaint, this time an insect in the chocolate cake.

Ikea said it was taking several measures to avoid such incidents, but refuted media reports of local authorities collecting samples of cakes or issuing fines.

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