There was a great deal of confusion and chaos outside IKEA's Navi Mumbai store, after a crowd gathered outside the store on June 26, Moneycontrol has learnt.
Many people had queued up to visit the IKEA store, but the security personnel had stopped them from entering the store, causing people to wait for a long time. The staff at the store later permitted entry of a limited number of people.
The furniture retailer had on June 25 put out a tweet saying that COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) will be conducted for visitors to the Navi Mumbai store on Saturdays and Sundays. It said those who are fully vaccinated will not need to be tested, if they could produce proof that they had received both shots.
Following the chaos, IKEA put out a banner which said that they local municipal corporation has organised compulsory antigen test for all visitors on Saturday and Sunday at their Navi Mumbai Store. The furniture retailer also urged the visitors to co-operate with local municipal corporation.
"Visitors that have completed their vaccination course will be exempted from taking the antigen test. Please show the proof of same on Aarogya Setu or Covin app," the banner said.
The Maharashtra government had on June 25 tightened restrictions in the state, amid concerns surrounding the spread of the delta plus coronavirus variant.
NMMC will be conducting antigen tests for IKEA Navi Mumbai store visitors on Saturdays & Sundays. Test is free, and antigen-positive customers need to take RTPCR test. Those already vaccinated don't require testing but should show proof on Aarogya Setu / CoWin / certificate copy. pic.twitter.com/U4LhYgCHu7
— IKEAIndia (@IKEAIndia) June 25, 2021
Replying back on the chaos situation, the retailer issued a statement saying they are just following the COVID-19 precautions and request their customers to co-operate them.
"Safety for our customers and coworkers remain our highest priority during these challenging times. We are taking all measures to ensure safe shopping for our customers. We welcome and fully support NMMC’s decision to carry out antigen tests in our Navi Mumbai store. We are doing everything to ensure the wait time is reduced and customers can start their shopping," IKEA statement said.
"We have a holding area with a capacity of 300 with washrooms and drinking water for the customers waiting in queue.
We will continue to update our customers through our website and social media platforms and through our call centres.
Meanwhile, we urge customers to continue to wear masks, follow social distancing and take all safety precautions while visiting the store," IKEA added.