After a long wait, IKEA has finally opened its store in Bengaluru, which is so far the retailer's biggest store in India at 4,60,000 sq ft. Not just that, the retailer plans to invest Rs 3,000 crore in Karnataka and employ around 10,000 people by 2030, top executives of the company said in a press briefing.
The store located in Nagasandra, right next to the metro station in north of Bengaluru, will be formally opening on June 22. Further, IKEA plans to launch its first city-centre store in Bengaluru next year.
Ahead of the launch, top executives of the group arrived in Bengaluru. From the former IKEA India CEO Peter Betzel to the current CEO Suzanne Pulverer and Anje Heim as the Market Manager for the Karnataka market, Parineeta Cecil Lakra, Country People & Culture Manager at IKEA India, among others were present during the launch event.
This is IKEA’s fourth store in India after launching stores in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The Swedish retailer also plans to launch a store in Delhi-NCR but has not disclosed a timeline.
Different from Hyderabad and Mumbai, IKEA store in Bengaluru is more spacious with balcony designs apart from its usual home decor and furnishing items. Moreover, it also boasts of building the largest children’s play ‘area ‘Småland’ in this new store.
Spread over 12.2 acres, the store also has a 1,000 seater restaurant with a mix of Swedish and Indian food.
So far, the retailer was catering to the Bengaluru city through its online commerce and has over 8 lakh customers already.
Twenty seven percent of the store’s 7,000 type of products are produced in India and the store currently employs around 1,000 people in the store and will continue hiring more local talent in the coming months.
"Seventy percent of the workforce in the store are local and we aim to recruit many more. We are also training and developing our co-workers to make them ready to welcome our customers. Sixty percent of our employees and full-time and the rest are part-timers," said Vinaya Rai, People and culture manager of IKEA Nagasandra.
Currently, 48 percent of its workforce are women in the store. Additionally, IKEA plans to employ 10,000 in the state by 2030.
“There are three things that drive us. We will be focusing on sustainability, accessibility and affordability,” said CEO Pulverer.
As the store is located next to the metro station, Pulverer pointed out that this was to make the store more accessible as traffic in Bengaluru can be a pain point for many. The store faced this issue earlier in Hyderabad when its first store had opened and reaching the store became extremely difficult."While we are an omnichannel retailer, the IKEA stores are iconic and will remain important places where our customers meet our home furnishing offerings, get inspired, and find relevant products best suited for their home. We are happy to bring our passion and knowledge for home furnishing to the people of Karnataka to contribute to better lives at home," she added.