IKEA opened its first store in Hyderabad on Thursday, kicking off its retail journey in India.
The store's opening saw a stampede-like situation. Store open throughout the week from 10 am to 11 pm. There were also few tense moments when some people broke queue to force their entry.
HITEC City is the hub of information technology.
As Hyderabadiis rushed to store in thousands on day one, entire stretch of the road was jammed with heavy traffic throughout the day. The crowds resembled queue lines in Tirumala or queue lines at ticket counters of first day of a super-star movie.
Patrick Antoni, Deputy CEO, IKEA India, had said on Wednesday that they are expecting an average daily footfall of 30,000 to 35,000.
Customers sit at a restaurant inside IKEA's first store in India as it opened in Hyderabad, Thursday, Aug.9, 2018. So far, IKEA group, had taken approval to set up 25 stores in India with an outlay of Rs 10,500 crores, and so far invested about Rs 4,500 crores.
Though shoppers began trickling in from 10am, the store opening time, the numbers swelled as the day progressed and shoppers continuted to flock the outlet till the closing time of 11pm.
IKEA's next store will open in Navi Mumbai in next summer, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi. Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata come later.
The sight of concept homes meets the customers as they walk through the sprawling Hyderabad store.
Speaking to news agency ANI, IKEA's Managing Director for Telangana John Achillea said, "I am so excited today, we can see so many customers visiting in the building". It is located in the midst of IT hub at walkable distance from Raheja mindspace, hi-tech city. However, Ikea claims it is for everyone, irrespective of size of their wallet.
Spread over 4 lakh square feet, the store has a grand cafeteria that can seat 1,000 people and a range of over 7,000 products spread into two floors. Naveen Chintala, who works with a US-based telecommunications firm in the city, too was pleasantly surprised to find the store a replica of the Sweden outlets.
Ikea, in tune with its philosophy, has come out with home furnishing solutions for India by taking people's inputs.
It materialized after painstaking research: teams visited 1,000 homes to understand Indians' needs, wants and preferences, the brand says.
Alongside standard IKEA furniture like Billy bookshelves and Klippan "loveseats", the chain will offer "locally relevant products" like masala boxes, Indian frying pans called tawas, rice cake makers and mattresses with a coconut-fibre centre.
It also has a 1,000-seater restaurant, which is the biggest for IKEA in its global network, offering Swedish and Indian cuisine.
Like the products, the food is also affordable with biryani priced at Rs 99 and chicken meat balls Rs 149.