IKEA opens first India store

IKEA opens first India store
IKEA opens first India store

IKEA opened the doors to its first store in India in the southern city of Hyderabad this week. The flat-pack furniture giant plans to do things differently in India as it deals with higher taxes on imported goods and looks to woo cost-conscious shoppers unaccustomed to the company's do-it-yourself (DIY) assembly style. The Swedish furniture retailer is pushing into new countries in South America and Asia as growth slows in its traditional strongholds, including Europe. It is betting on India with its growing middle class, likely aiming to avoid a repeat of the high pricing that initially hit sales in China and Australia. The company, which has flagged import duties in India as a big challenge as it tries to keep prices low, has to source at least 30 per cent of its raw materials locally within five years of operations in the country as per Indian regulation. IKEA already sources about a fifth of its global supplies from India. The 400,000 sq ft (37,160 sq mts) store in the southern Indian city will offer 1,000 products including cutlery, stuffed toys, hangers and container boxes priced under Rs 200 ($2.91) - cheaper than in most countries. To satisfy the Indian preference for ready-made furniture, IKEA has set up a 150-member task force to help customers assemble furniture and is also partnering with UrbanClap, an app that connects people with a variety of service providers, including carpenters.

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