Ingka Group, the Dutch holding company that controls the majority of IKEA’s worldwide store network, is to make the Swedish furniture -to-appliance retailer the centrepiece of its first Indian shopping centre. The complex will be situated in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi, where the group this week confirmed tit had bought a 48,000m2 plot of land.
Previously known as the IKEA Group. the holding company was renamed Ingka three years ago to reflect its diversification into shopping centres and investments to complement its core IKEA retail business. The $759m development and ongoing management of the Noida project will come under the aegis of Ingka Centres,which already owns and runs 45 IKEA -anchored malls across Europe, Russia and China. It also has plans to enter the United States this year.
India. however, remains a high priority for the group after the runaway success of IKEA’s initial experience there. Its first store opened in Hyderabad in 2018 and almost immediately attracted 28,000 visitors a day. One- to two-hour queues and long traffic jams became commonplace. “India is an exciting and dynamic market, and today’s acquisition is a key milestone in our strategic vision to transform the business in response to the changing retail environment,” said Ingka Centres Managing Director Cindy Andersen. “Millions of people live within easy reach of Noida and we want to build emotional connections with them, by bringing as much value as we possibly can to their lives and communities. We look forward to presenting our Meeting Place concept to this market, a concept built around local communities’ needs, and which goes far beyond shopping.”
While global e-commerce giants including Amazon, Google and Apple have grabbed most of the limelight over the past year with their high-profile investment in the Indian online retail market, Ingka’s latest acquisition should be a salutary reminder of the huge potential that remains untapped in the country’s bricks-and-mortar sector too. Thanks to a combination of urbanisation, income growth and the rise of the nuclear family, the value of India’s overall retail market is expected have grown from $0.79 trillion in 2018 to $1.75 trillion by 2026.