Ikea India turns attention to Tamil Nadu

Ikea India has initiated talks with the Tamil Nadu government to set up two stores in Chennai.

This would be the fourth location in India for the US$30 billion Swedish home-furnishing company, and the two stores could open by 2019-20.

“We are scouting for land,” says Ikea India CEO Juvencio Maeztu, who says sites should have clear titles and be near a metro station.

Ikea plans to invest Rs 2000 crore (US$292 million) in the stores, providing employment for 4000 people. Identical to its other stores for India, they will each feature a 1000-seat restaurant, warehouse and play area.

Ikea has already been sourcing textiles from five suppliers in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu, of which one has been as associate for 45 years. The number of suppliers is set to increase will them having a chance to be a part of brand’s global supply chain, says Maeztu.

A suppliers fair will be held in Chennai to find sources for such items as sofas, mattresses and bookcases. The company will also be working with farmers, carpenters and women artisans. “Under the Nextgen pilot program, we are sourcing handmade products from 1200 women in Varanasi. Similarly, Disha program will be rolled out in Hyderabad to provide employment to underprivileged women.”

Ikea’s first store in India, at Hyderabad, will open in the first half of next year, while the Mumbai and Bengaluru stores will be ready by the start of 2019.

Ikea plans to open 25 stores over the next 10 years in India, and also plans to double its sourcing from India to €600 million (US$714.3 million) by 2020.

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