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NEW DELHI :

Swedish furniture and home furnishings retailer Ikea plans to dominate India’s large cities by opening one or two large stores along with four to five small format stores in each of them as it tries to reach more shoppers in highly populated markets, said a top executive at the company. Finding large parcels of land in densely populated cities also poses a challenge.

On Thursday, Ikea will open doors to the first small format city store at Worli, Mumbai, with an intent to “reaching even more closer to the many people of Mumbai," it said. This format allows Ikea to open smaller stores in the limited spaces available in urban areas while making it convenient for shoppers to experience the brand, the company said. The Worli store, for instance is 80,000 sq ft in contrast to Ikea's typical big box store spread between 400,000 - 500,000 sq ft. Globally too, Ikea operates such stores in Paris, Vienna and Shanghai. 

By 2025 the retailer plans to have four small stores in Mumbai—this is in addition to its large-format store in Navi Mumbai that opened late last year. It will also launch a small city store in Bengaluru.

 “The bigger cities will easily take a combination of one or two large stores, Mumbai will probably not have another large store simply because of the availability of location in Mumbai. But I can easily say the other bigger cities will probably have one or two large stores, and then easily four or five smaller stores in the city, and an online approach," Preet Dhupar, chief financial officer, Ikea India, told Mint in an interview.

These also include stores announced by Ingka Centres—the parent company’s shopping centre business that intends to open two Ikea-anchored centres in Gurgaon and Noida. These are essentially large retail destinations with Ikea as an anchor tenant along with other fashion, food and accessories brands.

 “Today marks a major milestone as we add a new customer meeting point in Mumbai, our first omnichannel market for Ikea in India," said Peter Betzel, CEO and CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer), Ikea India.

This omnichannel store format enables Ikea to make home furnishings more accessible, he said. 

From the 8,000-9,000 products available at the Worli store, over 2,200 products will be available for direct take away and the rest will be home delivered. 

Ikea workers as well as various digital tools will support customers with placing orders for larger items that aren’t available for takeaway. The store will host three room sets and inspirations focused on small space living, space saving hacks and other needs of the home, the retailer said. 

Ikea remains “invested" and “committed" to India, Betzel said.

Dhupar declined to share investments behind the small format stores. Smaller stores are leased as opposed to the large stores where the land parcel is purchased by Ikea.

In India, Ikea has an online presence across Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Surat, Ahmedabad and Vadodara. It has two large stores in India—one each in Navi Mumbai and Hyderabad. It recently announced the launch of its first Ikea-anchored meeting place called Livat Gurugram. 

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