Industry sources said smaller stores targeting central business districts and residential areas in Mumbai
were in the works by the retailer. The smaller stores would come up in South Mumbai and the western and central suburbs of the city. The Navi Mumbai store is coming up in Turbhe.
Betzel said Mumbai would be the first market in India to have the retailer’s ‘hybrid’ model, along with the offline large- and small-format stores and the online store, which was launched in August 2019 in Mumbai.
Ikea had first indicated that it would adopt a hybrid retail model for India, for which it had set aside over $1.5 billion in investment, saying that a combination of online and offline retail would be the strategy for the company in the country rather than simply setting up large signature outlets.
Betzel said its hybrid retail model would be unveiled in Bengaluru, Delhi, and Hyderabad, where Ikea had set up its first store in India in August 2018. Since then, Betzel said the Hyderabad store had seen 6 million visitors and had done a business of over Rs 400 crore, which had set a benchmark for the retailer as far its future large-format stores in the country went.
Betzel also said the retailer had no plans to increase product prices following the government’s recent move to raise import duties on items such as furniture and kitchenware. Ikea imports over 75 per cent of the goods it sells in India from multiple places.
“We will not increase prices of our products for now because we want to stay affordable,” Betzel said. “We are disappointed by the import tariffs and it will have a negative impact on our business. We are talking with the government on the tariffs,” he added.
One of the markets where Ikea products for India are sourced includes China, which is currently reeling from coronavirus impact. Betzel did not specify the impact of the virus on its supply-side operations, adding it was working on identifying local suppliers who could meet its stringent quality standards and product requirements. This, he said, would take time since many of its products were not manufactured by Indian suppliers.
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