IKEA

IKEA has finally arrived in Mumbai and their mega store at Navi Mumbai is not something that Indians would have seen till now. Of course, those who have traveled abroad to places such as Dubai and Singapore are well aware of such mega stores having visited Carrefour and IKEA thereat. But for others this is an experience to be believed through a visit.

IKEA arrived in India a few years back with their store at Hyderabad and on line delivery. I remember Indians feeling excited at their commencement of Indian operations. In fact, I am told that several people from all over, including Delhi and Mumbai undertook visits to Hyderabad not to see Charminar or Salarjung Museum or Ramajirao film city, but to specifically shop at IKEA.

We of course had done some e -commerce transactions with IKEA and were already enrolled as IKEA family member. In view of ongoing Covid and expecting a deluge of crowd, the store had made pre registration mandatory and we could do so easily in view of priority accorded to us by virtue of we being part of IKEA family.

Somehow this visit reminded me of my childhood days of visiting an exhibition at Pragati Maidan and halls of fame there that were decked up for such exhibitions. IKEA showroom looked as big as one of those halls of fame, like you needed a ticket to enter the exhibition, here you required a pre registration and QR code and there were similar queues for entering the showroom.

Once inside, the experience was almost ethereal, with all kinds of goods aesthetically placed. You felt like picking up every trinket – pieces of crockery, cutlery, storage et al. Food court had long queues and coffee house served quick snacks that were both – delicious and reasonably priced.

I don’t know whether IKEA will be able to sustain this interest or things are going to peter out once the initial euphoria dies down. Will they bring more and more attractive deals and win Indians’ mindshare and wallet share or will Indian experience be below their worldwide benchmarks? Only time will tell. But as is said “ well-begun is half done” and by beginning their Mumbai operations with a bang, IKEA seems to have won the first battle.

Welcome to Mumbai IKEA!

6 thoughts on “IKEA

  1. Sir, you have very well described the much talked about IKEA store. Even me and my friends were planning to visit and were other day discussing to let some time pass so that things get easier. Though I have visited their store in Dubai earlier during my visit there but wanted experience how it is here in Mumbai. I was also told by a cousin who visited last week that inspite of spending 4 hours there she had skipped one whole floor.
    So looking forward to visit it soon.

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  2. Never been to an Ikea store but did a case study on Ikea during my stint in AIM, Manila. They have a very different business model. Cost efficiency. Ready to assemble furniture and other items. Started by a carpenter actually. It’s held by an NGO. Whole day outing kind of an experience with crcehe facility, coffee shops and restaurants. They are primarily established on the outskirts of the city. Adopted blue ocean strategy and gained considerable market share by offering product at a very very reasonable price. Understand, they will have the same strategy in India.

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  3. Sir, nice blog… I remember the euphoria in Hyderabad when Ikea’s first store was opened there. On the first day, the traffic jam in the area lasted upto late in the night. People had to be reminded that Ikea is not a movie that one has to see on the first day, first show. Arrangements made in the store to control the queues reminded the crowd control of Tirupati Temple. Even today, for many of my relatives, visit to Hyderabad is not complete without a visit to the Ikea store and the most popular food court there. Thanks for triggering those unique memories of Hyderabad.

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