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Ikea to start selling online in NCR by December 2024

Ikea to start selling online in NCR by December 2024

NEW DELHI :Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is set to commence e-commerce operations in the national capital region (NCR) ahead of opening two large shopping centres over the next two years.

E-commerce operations will begin by the end of 2024, said Susanne Pulverer, chief executive and chief sustainability officer at Ikea India.

The Swedish company is now entering the next phase of growth in the country, marking its presence across major metros and scaling up local sourcing.

Ikea has already invested 10,500 crore in building five stores in India, apart from announcing investments in two large shopping centres with integrated Ikea stores.

“It has been wonderful to be able to open five stores in the last five years and now planning for opening in the Delhi market. First, we are planning with an omni-channel that is opening at the end of 2024 and our first Ingka centres—it’s a shopping-centre concept in Gurugram with an integrated Ikea store, that will happen two years from now. There’s also a big project in Noida with the shopping centre and an integrated Ikea store,” Pulverer told Mint virtually.

To be sure, the shopping centres fall under Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group. Ingka Centres develops large malls that house various retail brands apart from the big format Ikea store.

Studies commissioned by Ikea suggest NCR is the largest home-furnishings market in the country. The retailer is looking for more sites in Delhi to serve the “big city”, she said.

Ikea’s parent company is also setting up its investment arm in the country that invests in businesses outside retail—giving the group a greater clout in the market where it also has a long history of sourcing operations.

Ingka Investments, the retailer’s investment arm, has in the past picked up stakes in solar farms in Australia and logistics centres in Denmark. Pulverer said the investment arm could invest in sustainability-linked businesses in India.

“It’s a little bit early, so I have no concrete things to say except that one of their key focuses is within the area of the sustainability, and I believe that will be the first area, they will come in and invest in India,” she said.

Along with retail, the Ingka Group also operates Ingka Investments, Ingka Centres, apart from a Global Business Operations (GBO), and a global digital hub. Ikea Supply has been sourcing from India for over 40 years.

India is a priority growth market for long-term investment for the parent company, she said.

The retailer made its India debut in 2018 with the opening of its fist big-box retail store in Hyderabad. “All in all when we came—our investment was 10,500 crore, with these two projects included (Noida and Gurugram), we have invested this much. These two projects are so far the biggest investments because of the sheer land size, etc.,” she said.

Ikea is currently present online in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Gujarat and Bengaluru. Three big format Ikea stores are operational in Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai and Bengaluru apart from two smaller stores in Mumbai.

Ikea has only just “scratched the surface” in India, Pulverer said.

“We have learned a lot and that we will take in to our next phase. Bengaluru is far from ready, or Mumbai or Hyderabad—there is so much more to do and then there are other parts of India where we can expand. We are in the beginning and planning on how we should do the next phase of our expansion,” she said.

Commenting on the retailer’s plans to enter smaller cities, Pulverer said the retailer scans “all opportunities”.

“There are many tier two and tier three cities that are very interesting. You need to take the whole set up into consideration…So we look at how we will continue to expand, we will continue to focus on the markets where we are and look at some new opportunities and take it step by step,” she said.

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