Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

IKEA goes small in Mumbai

Swedish furniture giant plans pop-ups and smaller stores in the island city, keeping its compact flat sizes in mind

Pankti Mehta Kadakia
Published: Dec 2, 2019 05:40:52 PM IST

IKEA goes small in Mumbai

Keeping Mumbai’s compact flat sizes in mind, Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, which debuted in India with a 13-acre store complex in Hyderabad, is sizing down.

IKEA traditionally takes up large land parcels on the outskirts of cities, turning them into an expansive store, complete with floor after floor of sample rooms. While one such store is coming up in Turbhe, Navi Mumbai, next year, IKEA aims to capture attention in the city’s centre too.

It has currently unveiled two ‘IKEA on wheels’ display trucks at Kamala Mills in Lower Parel, Mumbai, displaying a living room and kitchen set-up each, using products from its Christmas collection. Customers can't buy products at the trucks, but are encouraged to do so online. “It’s what we call a one-market approach, and part of a global strategy to make ourselves more accessible at city centres,” says Jaxa Gohil, store manager, IKEA India. “So we started ecommerce in Mumbai in August, and we have a big store coming up in Navi Mumbai, but we are experimenting with smaller formats for South Mumbai and the eastern suburbs.”

The trucks will be part of a 45-day pop-up, one stationed in Kamala Mills, and the other travelling around the city. IKEA will host various events at Kamala Mills, such as a construction activity and dollhouse decoration for families. “When the South Mumbai store comes up, while it may not have the full range, it will have services the stores don’t—personal shopping, for instance,” adds Gohil. The eastern suburbs store is reported to be inside a mall.

Gohil says Mumbai is among IKEA’s top 30 focus markets, even as stores are coming up in Delhi and Bengaluru. IKEA’s investment in India has been earmarked at 1.5 billion euros.