IKEA store attracts 40,000 customers on first day (Lead)

Hyderabad : About 40,000 people visited IKEA's first India store on the opening day here , a company spokesperson told IANS.

The world's leading Swedish home furnishings retailer received huge response from customers on Thursday.

The spokesperson, however, declined to share the numbers relating to the business transacted on the first day.

However, the response was in line with the expectations. Store manager John Achillea had stated that they were expecting 40,000 to 45,000 people.

With huge crowd thronging the store in the evening, the IKEA staff found it a bit challenging to regulate the entry. There were also few tense moments when some people broke queue to force their entry.

Drawn by the aggressive marketing campaign including advertisements with the prices of affordable products, a large number of visitors from several parts of the city thronged the store.

Many were curious to see the offering from an international brand. They were seen checking the price tag and feeling the products like beds, mattresses and chairs.

As the sprawling store has come up in the heart of HITEC City, majority of the customers were techies from information technology companies. There were many expatriates and the Indians who earlier lived abroad and knew the brand.

Several visitors were seen in the 1,000-seater restaurant, which is the biggest for IKEA in its global network.

The 400,000 sq.ft store offers 7,500 products including 1,000 products priced below Rs 200.

The first India store of IKEA was opened with an investment of Rs.1,000 crore, 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.

The company now revised the number of stores to 40 across all formats.

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 Kolkatta.