Ikea to invest Rs 30 bn in Maharashtra to set up stores, experience hubs

(Photo: Reuters)
Swedish furniture retailer Ikea will invest Rs 300 million in Maharashtra over the long-term to set up multi-format stores as well as experience centres.

"We will be investing close to Rs 300 million over the long-term in the state to set up multi-format stores. We will also open experience centres in Mumbai going forward," Patrik Antoni, deputy country manager, Ikea told reporters.

He indicated that the Maharashtra operations will be key for the company, and hence it has allocated sufficient funds to develop the market here.

Initially, the company had earmarked Rs 1.05 billion to open about 25 stores in the country by 2025.

"Now that we have been working to open a few stores, we could increase the investments here going forward," he said, informing that Delhi-NCR would be another key market for the company.

The retailer has already committed to invest Rs 75 million over the next 2-3 years in setting up its first distribution centre in Pune.

When asked about the delay in opening the first Ikea store in Hyderabad, which was slated to open early 2018, he said that the company was focusing o the safety of workers, and quality of the construction. "We will open it in the next few months," Antoni added.

It is also looking at job creation, as each store would engage about 2,000 coworkers, of which 800 at least would be directly employed, according to a company release.

Speaking about increasing the sourcing from the country as well as from the state, Maharashtra market manager Per Hornell said that the company is already working with suppliers in the areas of textiles and plastics.

Globally, India accounts for about 3 per cent of the retailer's total sourcing. "Ikea currently sources from 11 suppliers in Maharashtra in categories such as textiles, including carbon steel, metal and plastics," Hornell said.

The company is also looking to partner with state governments to source local sustainable raw materials including bamboo, jute, rubberwood, banana barks, coir etc, he informed.

Last year, Ikea India had committed to double its local sourcing from Euro 318 million to Euro 600 million by 2020.

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