After months of hype and years of delay, furniture giant IKEA opened their first store in Hyderabad, with a rather Indian twist. From replacing their signature pork and beef meatball with more vegetarian items to suit the desi audience, there is a lot to look forward to!
The 400,000-square-foot swanky showroom features a display of over 7,500 product and is designed keeping in mind the requirements of an Indian household but reflective of the Swedish retailer’s classy and minimalistic approach.
Is India the best?
The foremost Indian outlet opened with more than 200 keen customers lining as our military band played a sought-after medley upon their entrance. Spectators were greeted by IKEA staff members lined up in the trademark cobalt blue and sunshine yellow colours at the stairway, waving India and Sweden flags.
Upon entering, a rifles band of the Indian Army played a familiar patriotic rendition of Saare Jahan se Achcha Hindustan Hamara (Our India is better than the rest), thereby warming up the Indian guest. The event was graced by several personages including Sweden’s ambassador to India, Klas Molin, and IT minister of the state of Telangana, KT Rama Rao.
IKEA is tempting the average Indian’s taste buds by launching its biggest-ever 1,000-seater restaurant. The menu includes a wide range of food items, staples from Swedish and Indian cuisine including, chicken and salmon balls to desi favourite like vegetable biryani along with South Indian food items like idli and sambhar.
Also, you don’t worry about burning a hole in your pocket while dining at the retail store. The restaurant includes a very affordable menu for the Indian audiences- with a plate of samosas for Rs 10 and gulab jamuns as part of dessert for an offer. However, there is no beef or pork available!
John Achillea, who has been appointed as the store manager, explained in a statement, ‘Hyderabad is a foodie city and we will absolutely have biryanis, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. We respect the faith in India and our meatballs have pork and beef so we won’t bring that to India.’
The first retail outlet of #IKEA in #India opens its doors tomorrow at 10 AM. The 4,00,000 sq. ft #Hyderabad store is jawdropping. From cheap corkboard tables to top of the line modular kitchen units with 10 years warranty, @ikea.india covers the entire gamut of furniture and furnishing. I was invited to a media preview where I had the opportunity to experience the in-house dining options. The 1000 seater restaurant is the largest in Hyderabad and may be even in the country. On offer is a mix of local (Biryani, Dal Makhni) and global (Meatball, Smoked Salmon) favourites. And everything is supremely affordable. They also have a cafe near checkout that's offering Samosa, Puffs, and FroYo cones for only Rs. 10. Quick Review: – Loved the #SmokedSalmon (Rs. 349) – #SalmonFillet was overcooked (Rs. 399) – #BakedCheesecake is really good for the price (Rs. 160) – Like the Sparkling Pear (Unlimited cold beverages for Rs 50). – #ChickenMeatballs were surprisingly good considering they are Chicken (Rs. 149). #Meatballs deserve redmeat #hyderabad #hydfoodguy #foodporn#foodpic
For those with extra sweet craving, there are warm cinnamon buns, Daim cake, apple pie and more options available. You can also add a coffee to your meal for a minimum amount.
You will be presently surprised by the uber funky new items at the store. IKEA-branded auto-rickshaws occupy a whole section of the massive store. Alongside the trademark Ikea products like Billy bookshelves and Klippan loveseats, the chain will offer ‘locally relevant products’ like masala boxes, Indian frying pans aka Tawas, mattresses made from coconut fibres and rice cake makers.
Other than that, the store displays two full homes, representing the Life at home in Hyderabad and thereby exhibit different room sets from diverse sections of the house such as kitchen, bedroom, living room and children’s room. There are also more than 1,000 products under 200 rupees for the consumer to splurge on.
Here's a peek at Swedish furniture giant IKEA's first store in India, set to open on August 9 in Hyderabad. Check our #linkinbio These uber funky, IKEA-branded auto-rickshaws occupy just one section of the 4 lakh-square-foot store, which is spread across 13 acres in Hitech City. IKEA's Hyderabad store will have the company's largest restaurant globally. The 1,000-seater restaurant will serve local and Swedish delicacies.
While IKEA is famous for its self-assembly products, the furniture giant faces a tough road ahead in the country, where netizens are not used to self-assembling furniture. But Pepperfry, Urban Ladder better watch out! Apart from Hyderabad, IKEA has plans to open stores in Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Surat.