IKEA to take a year to roll out large and small-format stores in Mumbai

Topics IKEA

IKEA employees pose outside a van in Mumbai on Tuesday | Photo: Reuters
Furniture retailer IKEA will take a year to roll out its large-format and small-format stores in Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, as it strives to understand the market better. 

The Swedish major, the largest furniture retailer in the world, is setting up its nearly 500,000 sq. ft. megastore at Turbhe in Navi Mumbai. The launch of the two-storied structure, which includes a restaurant and warehouse, was to happen this calendar year. But the complexity of the market as well as the need to build brand awareness is delaying the launch.

“We are working on multiple formats. We need to see what works best here,” said Jaxa Gohil, IKEA’s India store manager, adding Mumbai was a key market and among the top 30 cities globally for the retailer.

IKEA has already unveiled its online store in Mumbai this August, and is looking at smaller stores in South Mumbai, the eastern and western suburbs of the city, respectively. 

These smaller stores would be around 70,000 sq. ft. in size each and are expected to be positioned as destination zones within their catchments. The furniture retailer will also make available the same catalogue of products that the Turbhe megastore would have, to improve convenience.

The smaller stores will also house restaurants, like the Turbhe outlet, though there will be no warehouses attached to these shopping centres. The Turbhe megastore, in contrast, will allow consumers to pick up the furniture they purchase from the warehouse, Gohil said.

IKEA has also begun marketing initiatives in Mumbai, including undertaking home, office and mall visits, where it is displaying its furniture to consumers. 

One such initiative is ‘IKEA on Wheels’, where special trucks will be visiting different areas to build awareness. One such truck has been stationed in the central business district of Worli, while the other will move around between South Mumbai and the western suburbs.  

Consumers can walk into these mobile trucks and get a sense of IKEA products. Those interested in buying could make a purchase online, she added. 

IKEA is also conducting weekend workshops for families and children across the city, where people will be encouraged to assemble the furniture retailer’s products. It is also making trips to co-working spaces in the city to give office-goers a feel of its products. 

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