Swedish home furnishings major IKEA on Thursday (August 9) opened its first store in India, kicking off its retail journey five years after it received approval to invest in the country’s single-brand retail sector. IKEA opened doors for its first India store in Hyderabad. As IKEA opened doors of its store serpentine-like traffic jams were seen outside on the main road.
The photos of the massive traffic jam in Hyderabad has been doing rounds on the social media since yesterday. Even stampede-like situation prevailed when the doors opened of the IKEA store in Hyderabad. Reports say that the traffic jam was so huge that IKEA employees had to assist the customers and guiding them about the traffic situation.
The store by the world’s leading Swedish home furnishings retailer was teeming with customers in the evening and the total number for the day might cross 30,000 when the store shuts down at 11 p.m. About 10,000 customers had visited the store by 4 p.m. but the crowds swelled later as thousands of techies headed to the place while returning home from offices.
Patrick Antoni, Deputy CEO, IKEA India, had told PTI that they are expecting an average daily footfall of 30,000 to 35,000. The store is spread on massive 400,000-square feet facility with loud cheers from company officials and employees, holding Indian and Swedish flags amid loud band and music.
The store was formally inaugurated by Telangana’s Industry Minister K. T. Rama Rao along with first customer Rajni Venugopal, IKEA Group CEO Jesper Brodin and Sweden’s Ambassador to India Klas Molin. The first India store was opened five years after the world’s largest single brand retailer received government approval in 2013 to invest Rs 10,500 crore to open 25 stores in India by 2025. IKEA’s next store will open in Navi Mumbai in next summer, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi. In the next phase, IKEA would cover Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune, Chennai, and Kolkata.