IKEA has identified Mumbai as one of its top 30 cities globally along with New York, London and Paris, as India’s financial capital prepares to receive the largest single-city investment in the country so far from the Swedish home furnishing retailer.
IKEA, which opened its first retail store in India in Hyderabad last year, plans to open a store in Mumbai over the next few months, said Jaxa Gohil, store manager, IKEA India. In a shift in its India strategy, IKEA first started an e-commerce platform for customers in Mumbai in August.
“Till date as a city, Mumbai is the biggest investment we have put in India so far. Globally, we have identified top 30 cities, where we believe that there is most potential for IKEA. India has three cities - Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. So, Mumbai is the first top global city in India which is going live," Gohil told reporters.
The 400,000 sq. ft store will be based in Navi Mumbai on the Thane-Belapur Road for which IKEA has purchased around 23 acres of land.
Gohil did not disclose the investments that would be made in the Mumbai store.
IKEA had in 2012 announced an investment plan of €1.5 billion in India but did not disclose the investments in each city.
The store in Mumbai will be part of a hub-and-spoke model in line with other major global cities like Paris and Moscow. In these cities, the company is adopting a multi-format strategy where it plans to not only set up a signature big-box store on the city’s outskirts, but also start smaller stores or touch points within the city.
“We never traditionally have stores in the city centres. We did that recently in Paris and Moscow. So, as part of the global direction, we plan to adopt the same approach in Mumbai. Being one of the top 30 markets, we are looking at different ways to engage with the customers," she said adding IKEA may also adopt a similar strategy in Delhi and Bengaluru.
As it gears up to launch its flagship store in Navi Mumbai, the company on Tuesday launched ‘IKEA On Wheels’—two mobile trucks which would showcase its products across Mumbai.
The company has so far hired half of the 1,000 people it plans to recruit over the next one year for the upcoming store in Mumbai.
“In Mumbai, we have had over 2 million online visits since August, which is super exciting. Obviously there is a lot of interest for IKEA products. With online doing well, we are learning about our customers all the time what they like," Gohil said.
IKEA currently has 374 stores in 30 countries with a sales volume exceeding €37 billion. The company has been sourcing from India for more than 35 years for its global stores. It works with more than 60 suppliers and directly employs around 45,000 in the country.