>> Its known for low prices. But now IKEA is going to have to aim even lower. The Swedish retailer is opening its first store in India on Thursday, and is looking to keep prices even lower there than it typically does elsewhere. IKEA is pushing into Asia and South America as growth slows in Europe and other traditional markets, and is betting on India with its growing middle class.
>> A thousand products.>> The group's chief executive spoke at the opening of the Hyderabad outlet. He wants IKEA to be more affordable and accessible in India. But it's got a battle ahead of it to woo cost-conscious shoppers unaccustomed to DIY furniture, and overcome high taxes on imported goods.
The firm previously said it would raise the proportion of locally sourced materials to help overcome import duties. It's promising the Hyderabad store will sell 1,000 items, including cutlery and stuffed toys, for less than 200 rupees or just under US $3. It has competition though. Startups Pepperfry and Urban Ladder both offer free delivery and furniture assembled on site at no extra cost.
In response, IKEA has taken the unusual step of setting up a 150 member in-house task force to help with assembly. And the retailer isn't daunted by the Indian market. IKEA plans to open more than 25 stores across the country in the next eight years.