In Hyderabad’s bustling Nampally furniture market, customers explore a crowded, dusty labyrinth of shops, haggle over prices and work with carpenters to design made-to-order housewares.
This is the competition Swedish giant Ikea faces in tackling the $40 billion Indian market for home furnishings, which is growing quickly along with the country’s consumer class.
India is a test case for whether Ikea should keep shifting resources toward emerging economies, including Latin America and China, given the saturation of markets in Europe and the United States — and the possibility of another global recession.
“India is an extremely important market for Ikea,” said its Mumbai-based marketing manager Per Hornell. As one of Ikea’s biggest markets, India will be key to its overall expansion plans, he said.
Six months after Ikea opened its first store in Hyderabad, the 400,000-square-foot cornucopia of furniture, linens, kitchenware and other goodies is drawing between 10,000 and 30,000 visitors per day, Hornell said.