After celebrating a smashing debut of its flagship store in Hyderabad earlier this year, IKEA Hyderabad is all set to woo potential home buyers with its complete range of DIY home furnishing collection by hitting out at the home stretch. The furniture giant now plans on tying up with real estate developers to provide ‘model’ furnished homes that will showcase its own range of living room sets, bedroom sets, modular kitchens and more, in an attempt to increase visibility beyond the confines of its own store.
Teaming furniture-shopping with the home-buying industry makes sense in India, where the real estate sector remains almost an unmatched king of consumer-capitalism. So much so, that the massively B2C swedish giant is opting for equally massive B2B partnerships in the country.
“Business to business is also an important area for us going forward. So what we know in Hyderabad today is that approximately about 1,000 new homes are being built a week. Our ambition is to build contact and be the partner of choice for constructions.” – John Achillea (Manager, IKEA Hyderabad)
Developers that have signed up to showcase IKEA products in their model homes and apartments, include the Hyderabad-based Ramky Group. As IKEA plans on adding more partners to augment its distribution and display needs, it needs to be noted that real-estate developers too, can capitalize on the inherent consumer interest in IKEA products. Its India range (currently available only through its Hyderabad outlet) includes around 7,500 products , almost a thousand of which are priced below Rs 200 – a huge USP when it comes to capturing the Indian market. A testament to IKEA’s ongoing popularity is the 20-25,000 footfall that it enjoys every day.
John Achillea also went on to explain that the store-and-home model will enhance IKEA’s existing affordability strategy. For example, customers are more likely to buy less-expensive products off the shelf from their store (e.g. the phenomenally popular ‘Kalas’ four-piece spoon set, priced famously at Rs 15) – however, when it comes to buying a Rs 20,000 sofa – the decision depends on a lot of factors, including whether or not the customer is convinced that it will blend into their future home. In such a situation, placing their furniture in the midst of an apartment unit that the customer is already contemplating to invest in, is definitely a smart move. As far as IKEA’s future in India is concerned, time will tell whether its upcoming stores in Mumbai and Bangalore can replicate that same success (a record 50,000 people rushed to the IKEA store in Hyderabad on opening day. Their staff recorded 1.7 Lakh visitors in the first four days!).