Around 40,000 people visit IKEA Hyderabad store on first day; Twitter reacts

10 Août, 2018, 21:27 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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"I have no plans to blow a lot of money today, maybe just buy some kitchenware, but this is going to be a destination for me", said Rajani Venugopal, a businesswoman who waited about an hour and managed to be the first person in the doors.

Around 200 people queued up in the underground vehicle park before the opening, and were greeted inside by hundreds of blue-and-yellow clad employees on the stairs waving Swedish and Indian flags. Likewise, Shilpi Dutta, who walked into the store along with her sister, too felt spoilt for choice. "I have a list of items to be purchased, but my wife and I are finding it hard to navigate our way here and have to ask for assistance all the time", he added. "So here we are", said IT manager Nasrullah Khan, 34, another early bird.

Ikea spent 12 years studying India and visited 1,000 homes in major cities to see how its people lived. "It is overwhelming, a dream come true", he said.

IKEA's 1,000-seater restaurant was also crowded.

This may prove to be very hard in the long run, the company has identified.

Drawn by the aggressive marketing campaign including advertisements with the prices of affordable products, a large number of visitors from several parts of the city thronged the store.

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As hordes of enthusiastic shoppers rushed for a "dekko" of the big 4 lakh sft outlet, which is by far the largest single brand outlet in the country, many people headed home after work in the area complained about huge traffic snarls.

In a press release Thursday, IKEA says the store is now set to open Winter 2019.

And to overcome Indians' aversion to assembling their furniture, with people used to small, family-owned firms providing a bespoke service, IKEA teamed up with UrbanClap, an online platform that helps connect handymen with consumers.

Locals in Hyderabad not at Ikea were skeptical. "I have shopped at an IKEA store in Sweden and was curious about how their store in India would look like". But I believe there it's all compressed wood.

"Store also has a kids' play area named Smaland where customers can leave their children safely while experiencing the shopping", said an IKEA spokesperson.

"It will be a flop, I tell you", he told AFP. "The regular furniture consumer will stick with the more solid wood available in the Indian market. I don't think it will give us much competition".

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