IKEA made its presence in India on 9th Aug, 2018 by opening its first store in Hyderabad. There was a huge response from the customers, on day 1 there were almost 40,000 customers who visited this store. Now from this experience and along with the prevalence of global pandemic covid-19 the company has planned strategically to see that social distance is managed during the grand opening of the 2nd store of IKEA in Navi Mumbai. The store size is over 5 lac. sq. ft. and is located in Thane – Belapur road, Navi Mumbai. To see that the social distance is being managed and the crowd is not gathered, they have planned prior online registration of the visitors and they would be given a specific slot and time for the visit. You can see some images below, which says there were a lot of innovative and creative ideas used by IKEA to create a noise level for its first store in the country. IKEA transformed the regular black-and-yellow auto rickshaws by seats with bright floral-printed covers and painted the vehicles in blue and yellow to match the brand’s colours. And they had VR glasses in each of them to give people a virtual tour of the store, while they were on a ride. In the other picture you can see the box on the conveyor belt at Hyderabad airport, where it is mentioned that the IKEA store is now open at the HITEC city. So, everyone waiting for their baggage would surely notice this.
Similarly, in one of the ideas the company decorated the bus stop at Hej, Hyderabad with trendy, brightly coloured furniture and rugs, and it was a point where a lot of people came over there and took selfies and videos which went very viral. So, this is how IKEA created a huge noise level in the launch of its first store in Hyderabad. Now it’s going to make its foray in New Mumbai and let see how innovative and creative it’s going to be over there. I am sure they would surely come with some new ways to attract customers.
The Navi Mumbai store will be employing close to 1200 coworkers out of which 50% are women. “With our long-term commitment to Maharashtra we will create 6000+ jobs by 2030 of which 50 per cent will be women,” IKEA India CEO & Chief Sustainability Officer Peter Betzel said. IKEA has had their online presence in Mumbai since early 2019 and now from 18th Dec, 2020 they would be enjoying offline shopping from their stores. IKEA would continue its omni channel presence with ecommerce, physical stores and additional services. After the Navi Mumbai store, two more city center IKEA Stores will open during 2021 to reach more people in Mumbai. IKEA is present online in Hyderabad and Pune with over 35 million online visitors so far and it has the ambition to reach 100 million Indian customers by 2022.
IKEA has also started selling its products to customers in Gujarat. After Telangana and Maharashtra, Gujarat is the 3rd state where IKEA has started its online services. It has started servicing clients in Ahmedabad, Surat and Baroda. So, it could be that after Maharashtra, IKEA’s future plan could be to open up stores in Gujarat too.
Dr. Sunil Patel, Professor, Unitedworld School of Business (UWSB)
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