Video: Over 40,000 throng to IKEA store on Day 1, chaos ensues both inside & outside

Video: Over 40,000 throng to IKEA store on Day 1, result in chaos both inside & outside
An estimated 40,000 plus people visited the IKEA store in Hyderabad on opening day (Screengrabs from video, Courtesy: Sanjay Borra)

An estimated 40,000 plus people visited IKEA’s first India store in Hyderabad on opening day on Thursday, resulting in a stampede-like situation inside and major traffic congestion outside.

The world’s leading Swedish home furnishings retailer received a staggering response from customers on day one.

Although the company declined to share the numbers relating to the business transacted on the first day, its spokesperson said that the response was in line with the expectations.

Store manager John Achillea had stated that they were expecting 40,000 to 45,000 people.

“With a huge crowd from across the city thronging the store in the evening, the IKEA staff found it a bit challenging to regulate the entry. There were also a few tense moments when some people tried breaking queues,” Achillea said.

Drawn by the aggressive marketing campaign including advertisements with the prices of affordable products, a large number of visitors from several parts of the city thronged the store.

Many were curious to see the offering from an international brand. They were seen checking the price tag and feeling the products like beds, mattresses and chairs.

As the sprawling store has come up in the heart of HITEC City, the majority of the customers were techies from information technology companies. There were many expatriates and the Indians who earlier lived abroad and knew the brand.

Several visitors were seen in the 1,000-seater restaurant, which is the biggest for IKEA in its global network.

The 400,000 sq.ft store offers 7,500 products including 1,000 products priced below Rs 200.

The large gathering of visitors also led to severe traffic snarls on the main road outside the highway. Several images depicting the serpentine queues went viral on social media, which further fuelled curiousity about the brand.

The store was formally inaugurated by Telangana’s Industry Minister K. T. Rama Rao along with first customer Rajni Venugopal, IKEA Group CEO Jesper Brodin and Sweden’s Ambassador to India Klas Molin.

It was opened with an investment of Rs.1,000 crore, five years after the world’s largest single brand retailer received government approval in 2013 to invest Rs 10,500 crore to open 25 stores in India by 2025.

The company now revised the number of stores to 40 across all formats.

IKEA’s next store will open in Navi Mumbai in next summer, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi. In the next phase, IKEA would cover Ahmedabad, Surat, Pune, Chennai, and Kolkatta.

With agency inputs

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