Before I open the store, Ikea will go online in Mumbai

NEW DELHI: In a Swedish furniture chain for the first time in the world. Ikea will launch online shopping services in a market, Mumbai, before opening physical stores. In addition, the retailer based in the Netherlands will open small neighborhood stores throughout India as part of its overall strategy to reach younger customers.

Ikea, known for its vast network of self-service, out of-town mega stores measuring 4-5 lakh sqft, will launch stores sized 50,000-1,50,000 sqft that will enable it to penetrate deeper into the domestic unorganized furniture market and take on local retailers, including Urban Ladder, Pepperfry, Godrej and Fabindia.

For starters, the company, which currently operates its first store in Hyderabad, has located two Mumbai sites for such stores.

In India, we would like to reach 100 million customers in three years with a multi-channel approach. Customers will be able to shop online soon in the coming months in Mumbai, followed by Hyderabad and Pune and then other cities. Land sites have been acquired in Bengaluru and Gurugram and we continue to look for suitable sites in other cities across India. The ambition is to be presented in as many Indian cities as possible through different channels, an Ikea India spokesperson said.

So, basically, there will be a combination of big Ikea stores, smaller citycentre stores, pickup points, digital touchpoints like the shopable app and the e-commerce platform as a selling channel.

The company is looking for integration of both online and offline platforms to offer an omni-channel presence for Indian customers. Ikea opened its first store in Hyderabad last year, nearly five years after receiving the government nod to invest around Rs 10,500 crore to open 25 retail stores. Since then, it has revamped its plans and is looking at bringing in more investment to open 40 stores across different formats. So far, in one year, more than three million customers have visited Ikea in Hyderabad, the spokesperson added.

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