Top 5 take-away on impactful store experience at IKEA, Hyderabad

India has been gung-ho about IKEA’s first store opening in the country since last year. The Swedish giant with its signature blue & yellow big box store opened on August 9, 2018, and saw the Indian customers flooding IKEA, Hyderabad. A first of its kind store opening for IKEA globally! Thousands queuing up, not for essentials like ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’ (food, clothing or housing), but home furnishing. 
There is a renewed spirit and enthusiasm for shopping among Indians again. Value, design, quality and an extensive range of products (over 7,500 products) that IKEA had put together for Indian homes. During our recent visit to Hyderabad, we spent over 5 hours at IKEA, located at the city’s tech hub Hitech City, to understand how this big box retailer has created a sensation in the home furnishing market across India.
Here are 5 learnings on store experience that the home décor retailers in India could use:
Cues from Bazaars 
Indians have always loved their bazaars and craft haats that bring together a large curated range of home furnishing, décor accents and furniture from various artisans & indigenous manufacturers across the country. Bazaars allows shoppers to explore a range of products, bargain and get great value besides showcasing a great variety. IKEA, Hyderabad mirrors this model with its mind-boggling range, great prices and a labyrinth that ensures you miss nothing. Ensuring a whole day outing for the family!
VM based on Indian home living
As part of their research, the IKEA team had visited close to 1000 Indian households to get a deep understanding on how we ‘live’. After deducing certain unique lifestyle factors such as small homes, large families, frequent guests at home and a large demography of young and independent individuals, IKEA brought this to life as its showroom section with over 10 halls that manifests living cum dining space, tiny yet aesthetic  kitchens & bathrooms concepts, extendable dining tables and more.
Introducing the DIY culture, sensibly
The DIY culture in India is pretty much negligible. “Why do I have to buy furniture & fix it myself?”  is the popular response. But IKEA didn’t shy away from taking its DIY route for its products such as lighting, furniture and more. But to make it easy on Indians trying this for the first time, they have tied up with third party vendors such as UrbanClap with handyman services. But at the store, the display too entices shoppers to try DIY furniture with their kids/ friends, giving them a chance to bond with family. The sheer size of the warehouse in the market hall, right before the check out area, adds to the shoppers’ thrill waiting to go home and fix it up!
In-depth collection
IKEA certainly understands the basic yet crucial requirements at home: An in-depth range in every category that helps to put together a coordinated look for your whole room very easily. An extensive range instantly strikes a chord with customers, especially with everyday home essentials. For eg: white dinnerware section offers over fifty SKUs that can fit into the ‘white scheme’ of your dining room, as against offering a handful of SKUs in 5 colours as seen in most home furnishing stores.
Cuz I’m Happy 
Customers like happy shopping environments and store assistants who are ‘happy to help’. Besides its great product range and competitive prices, IKEA brings in the happiness quotient through wider aisles and spaced out displays at its market hall, a self-service kiosk to access store info and IKEA family membership card, clear indication of prices on tags and way finding light arrows projected from the ceiling. 

Covering the 4,00,000 sq ft store is a strenuous task for the young and old, but IKEA brings in-store elements that empathises with the customers and ensures that they walk away with bags full of great products and satisfaction of having made the trip to the store.