Offering something for everybody, Ikea redefines shopping

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Hyderabad, Aug 9 (IANS) Ikea’s first India store, which opened its doors on Thursday, offers a world of options for Indian customers looking to furnish their homes with products of good quality and yet affordable.

The sight of concept homes meets the customers as they walk through the sprawling store of the world’s leading Swedish home furnishings retailer.

From living rooms to dining rooms, children’s rooms to workspaces, kitchen and bedrooms to bathrooms, the display rooms offer ideas, inspiration and solutions for the entire home in a setting, perhaps not seen before in India.

The sheer range of products in different room is impressive as the furniture giant has designed them with a promise to make Indian homes brighter and better.

“Create your dream living room for under Rs 50,000” catches one’s attention. The components include day-bed, foam mattress, table, shelf unit, stool, trolley, swivel chair, clothes rack, mirror and wall shelf. For mthe ore price-conscious, there is another package of Rs 40,000.

The products displayed in concept room are not for pickup but the customers can note down the details to purchase them in the market hall.

The market hall has extensive range of products including home kitchen utensils and accessories, textiles, rugs, lighting, decoration, stationary and even live plants.

Bringing its world-class shopping experience to India, Ikea has designed the store in a manner which tempt customers into buying something after a long walk through 400,000 square feet store that is the equivalent of 10 football grounds.

There are not just room settings but also tips and ideas. Extensive information has been provided to customers about products like mattresses, quilts, pillows and protectors.

Located in the heart of HITEC City, the information technology hub, and close to the posh localities, the store appears to be designed to target upper middle-class and the rich. However, Ikea claims it is for everyone, irrespective of size of their wallet.

Laying a greater emphasis on affordability, Ikea has priced over 1,000 products out of total 7,500 below Rs 200. One finds a set of four spoons for as low as Rs 15.

Ikea officials promise there is something that everyone can buy for their homes. “We found love for homes is very big in India. We did not know this. Friends, families, festivals and food all happen at home,” Patrik Antoni, Deputy CEO, Ikea India told IANS.

“Unlike countries like China, Taiwan and Korea, people in India celebrate at home and we promise to improve their everyday life,” he said.

Ikea, in tune with its philosophy, has come out with home furnishing solutions for India by taking people’s inputs. The company says its team visited 1,000 homes to understand life at home, frustrations, needs, dreams and aspirations.

Ikea, which has stores in 49 countries, has a mixed global range with the local needs and realities. It developed products for local needs including masala boxes, pressure cookers, tawas, idli makers, colourful sheets and mattresses made with coconut fibre centre.

Sourcing from India for over 30 years, Ikea is not new to the country. About 1,000 products displayed at the store are made in India. It also tailored 2,000 products from its range to suit Indian needs, taking into consideration climatic realities such as dust and humidity.

Customers will also be able to buy Ikea’s global classics like the Billy bookcase, Klippan sofa, Lack table and Poang armchair.

The unique shopping experience is incomplete without tasting Indian and Swedish delicacies at a 1,000 seat restaurant, the biggest for Ikea globally. Like the products, the food is also affordable with biryani priced at Rs 99 and chicken meat balls Rs 149.

The shopping ends with customers themselves scanning the products to generate a bill and at the exit there is a cafe, offering refreshments including samosa for Rs.10.

Not surprisingly, Rajni Venugopal, a businesswoman, was over the moon as she became the first customer at the store.

“I lived in Singapore for six years, so I knew about IKEA. I have lot of stuff bought there,” Venugopal told IANS.



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