With the first store now open in Hyderabad, furniture giant IKEA is expanding into a new customer culture. In order to also spark the yellow-blue fever in India, the Swedish furniture giant is now offering rikshaw delivery to their customers in Hyderabad.
India, with a population of over a billion people, will offer a huge emerging middle-class market in the coming years, making it one of the fasted growing economic powers in the world. Thus, the Indian market is an attractive choice for global brands to expand their business. Though the rikshaw delivery service might seem like a marketing gag on the surface, it is one of many ways how IKEA is tweaking the classic Meatball and Co. concept to appeal to their Indian customers.
In India, the traditional way of buying furniture is to purchase it directly from one of the many small manufactures that all offer delivery and assembly for free. IKEA consequently had to alter their assemble-it-yourself approach and work together with a local home service company in Hyderabad, that offers to build up the furniture for a low price at the customer’s home.
Besides their first store, IKEA already announced additional stores to open in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi within the next two years, some of them in a new, small format. With the ambitious plan to have a total of 25 stores in India by 2025, the company can’t take the risk to not embrace their customers habits and needs, even though this might mean tweaking a traditional concept. Big brands will have to become more flexible in the future, as they not only will venture into new market cultures, but also need to adapt to a new generation of customers growing up.