Hyderabad: On August 9, 2018, images of jam-packed roads leading to the IKEA store in Hyderabad had gone viral on social media. Now, the Swedish home furnishing giant, which is celebrating its first ‘birthday’ of the store in India, aims to become more accessible to customers, a top official said here on Friday.
To do this, the company, which is known for large-format stores worldwide, will not only turn its focus to e-commerce but also towards small-format stores across the country.
“If you look at the big cities in India... then we know time and value of time plays a big a role. We would like to be close to the customer. It’s not only that you’re travelling to the stores in an hour or more, it has an impact on sustainability. So to be closer to where people are living is very very important.... We would like to have smaller stores which can be in your neighbourhood. Closer to customer, closer to where people are living is the basic idea,” Ikea India CEO Peter Betzel said.
While Mr Betzel refused to divulge further about the company’s plan, he did confirm that in the current plan the number of small format stores would exceed the previously announced number of 40. The company also expects Indians, who seem to have put their inhibition of the DIY model behind them, to beat the worldwide average for digital purchases.
On a lighter note, Mr Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce of the Government of Telangana, joked with Swedish ambassador to India, Klas Molin, that the Hyderabad store's footfalls in one year nearly equaled half of Sweden’s population. The store saw nearly 40 lakh visitor over the past one year,...