The Swedish company has 45 such shopping centres across 15 countries, and, together, they have attracted over 450 million visitors. The shopping centres appear under different trademarks, such as MEGA in Russia or LIVAT in China, and contain restaurants, movie theatres, entertainment zones, and, of course, a range of fashion, lifestyle and retail stores.
The Ingka Centers boast of over 7000 stores and as many as 1600 brands spread across 4 million square metres of leasable space around the globe.
Says Peter Betzel, CEO of IKEA
India: “As part of Ingka Center’s global expansion strategy, we are interested in developing IKEA-anchored meeting places in India, but we are not able to provide more details at this point.”
The move is part of IKEA’s omni-channel strategy to enter each city in India. This consists of large format IKEA stores (generally 400,000 square feet in area), small format stores and online ordering as well as services to back it.
Ingka Group has over 45 Ingka Centres running in 15 countries, including China, Russia, Poland, Sweden, and France
These centres boast over 7,000 stores and as many as 1,600 brands
IKEA is the anchor store in such shopping centres, which also have other retail stores, restaurants, entertainment zones, movie theatres, etc
Group is introducing an omni-channel strategy in Mumbai, which it plans to test and replicate in other Indian cities
While Mumbai will be the first city where IKEA will pilot its omni-channel gameplan, the company expects to replicate the same model in Delhi and Bengaluru. It is also exploring the possibility of setting up multi-format stores in Gurgaon (where a big store is already under construction), Noida and Delhi. Meanwhile, a big-format store in Navi Mumbai is expected to open in a few months, and two small-format stores will open in Mumbai in the course of 2021. The Hyderabad store, which has completed two years, has seen over 2 million visitors, and more than 25 million customers have visited it online.
Quizzed about sourcing materials and products locally, Betzel says: “Twenty per cent of what we sell in India is sourced from this country, and the long-term aim is to take that to 50 per cent. The aim is to transform India into one amongst the top five biggest IKEA markets in the globe in the next eight to 10 years.”
Betzel feels that India can become a manufacturing hub for IKEA in the future. Currently, the company has over 50 suppliers from India out of the over 1000 suppliers it has across the globe.
He also points out that the company has already invested part of the Euro 1.5 billion that it had committed to India and which has been used for building stores and warehouses, amongst others.
Real estate analysts say that the Ingka Group’s strategy makes sense, especially since commercial real estate prices in the big cities have drastically declined. Mall owners are facing a huge financial crunch in completing construction projects, while those running operations in malls are grappling with closures and non-payment of rentals.