Swedish furniture retailer IKEA plans to open small urban outlets as well as its mega-format stores in India backed by an online channel, tweaking its strategy in the wake of changing consumer behavior, a senior official says of the company.
The company, which in 2013 received government approval for its investment of Rs 10,500 crore to open stores in India, had planned to set up 10 home furnishings and housewares stores along with allied infrastructure on more than 10 years in India. Subsequently, he planned to open 15 more stores.
So far, it has set up three mega format stores in Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai and Bangalore and two city centers in Mumbai.
“Slowed down a bit during the COVID period, but we are also learning from the first markets we have opened,” IKEA India CEO Susanne Pulverer told PTI in an interview when asked about the impact of the pandemic on the company’s expansion plans in the country. .
On the way forward, she said, we have to be close to where the people are. So that’s when we also looked at the smaller formats which are still relatively important to Indian retail.
When asked if that involved fine-tuning the company’s strategy in India, Pulverer replied: Yes, it does. Not just in India, it is also a global phenomenon that we are seeing. It’s not enough with the big store outside (town). People don’t have time, maybe they don’t have a car, they aren’t always willing to take everything home, they want it delivered. Then we can be closer to people and have different ways of meeting them.
So it’s going to be omnichannel, she added, it’s the full big IKEA experience and it’s smaller, maybe even smaller formats where you can come and plan and get service to design your home. “
Pulverer said IKEA is still in the investment phase of its approved FDI and further investments have not been planned, although the furniture retailer is committed to the Indian market for the long term.
“We think we’ll have a lot more stores and we’ll have omnichannel because we see that’s the future. The combination, and how many, which year I’m not ready to share yet. We’re working with those plans,” she said. .
Asked about the online expansion, Pulverer said: We want to go physical and online together, that’s the best. We have done pilot projects in the three cities of Gujarat online only. We rate but know it’s a full experience to find inspiration and then you have to come to an IKEA store. So it’s never so good to put it online.
She said the online channel’s current contribution to overall sales is around 30%, having increased during the pandemic and remaining high.
We think that will continue to be more and more important, but we think the physical experience will also remain. So the combination that I think is actually perfect. People choose when to shop from home and when to go out and experience it. So it will be the mix for the future that will be needed, Pulverer said.
Ikea also offers products online through the website or app to its customers in cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara.
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