Value for money retailers cannot go wrong in India: Patrick Antoni, IKEA
Value for money retailers cannot go wrong in India: Patrick Antoni, IKEA

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is in the spree of expanding its footprints in the Indian market across metros and tier I markets. The company is also strongly focusing on localizing its offering to keep consumers happy in its stores. IKEA is focusing on customizing its solutions offering across its widest range of product portfolio of furniture while adding food articles into its offerings across all the stores. Talking about its localizing strategy Patrik Antoni, Deputy Country Manager, IKEA India, speaks to in Mumbai.

What is the level of localization you have done in the store?

We have localized in the solution level and not in the product level.The experience rooms have been built keeping in mind with the space availability and the purpose. For eg in Sweden bedrooms are used only for sleeping and storage purpose but here we have seen bedrooms are used for dressing, eating, watching television, sleeping among others and keeping that in mind we have designed the rooms.

We have hired 150 employees for assembling products for the Hyderabad store. Out of 10,000 products available globally we have got in 7,500 products in the store.

Are products going to be cheaper compared to your other stores globally?

We are offering competitive prices in India. We have around 1,000 products in the store which costs less than Rs 200 and is used daily. Our aim is to whoever walks in should buy something from the store so that we have kept product assortments accordingly.

Will there be more focus on food products to be offered in the stores across the country?

Many a times we have seen people walk in the store to check products and then go out to eat with a mindset to again come back and shop, but most of the times they don’t come back to the store, so if food is available inside the store there is no need for the person to step out and eventually customers end up shopping from the store. We will be offering 50 percent Indian food while 50 percent will be Swedish food in the store.We plan to increase our local sourcing going forward. 

What is the kind of sales growth you envisage from the Indian market?

Indian economy is growing with lot of young population in the country. India is a very exciting market for us and any retailer who offers value for money product cannot go wrong in the country. Indian customers are very similar to that of Malyasia, Indonesia, China and there are a lot of similarities in terms of culture and buying habits to certain extent. India’s growth maybe like a bumpy ride with sometimes going up and coming down but no one believes that India will not grow.

Can we also expect small format IKEA stores?

We are planning to open small format stores of 100,000 sqft to 150,000 sq ft. The small format store is mainly for Mumbai and Delhi where real estate costs are very expensive and finding such big areas within the city is difficult.

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