More than two million customers visited IKEA`s first India store here during the financial year 2019-20 (September to August), said the Swedish home furnishing multinational on Wednesday. The Group counts a financial year from September 1 to August 31.
The footfall is much lower than the seven million the company was expecting when it opened the store in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic has apparently affected the numbers.
IKEA India, part of the Ingka Group, opened its first retail store at Hyderabad in August 2018. The company officials had said in February last year that the footfall was five million a year against seven million they were originally looking at. They, however, added that they sold more despite the lower than anticipated footfall.
Peter Betzel, CEO and CSO, IKEA India said in a statement on Wednesday that they are lowering prices for many articles to become even more affordable for consumers.
“During the year two million plus customers visited our Hyderabad store and 25 million plus people visited us online. As more people have been forced to stay home, the interest in home furnishing has increased and online shopping grew significantly,” he added.
IKEA India opened online stores in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune in 2019.
Mumbai is the first IKEA market to launch online without physical stores.
“We look forward to a strong and positive FY-2021 with our new IKEA store and also smaller formats coming up in Mumbai and continue establishing a strong omnichannel presence in our markets,” Peter said.
The Ingka Group announced strong global retail sales of 35.2 billion euros for the financial year 2020, despite the economic and public health challenges posed by COVID-19. It had reported sales of 36.7 billion euros in FY-19.
For many weeks during the year, Ingka Group had to close 75 percent of the IKEA stores it operates across the world due to lockdowns.
The company also announced a series of wide-ranging commitments to help and protect the health and livelihood of those affected by the pandemic. It included a 26-million euro emergency relief of in-kind donations to support communities as well as providing support to IKEA co-workers by securing income stability, extending parental leave and offering flexible work arrangements.
The company has decided to return the government stimulus support it received for co-worker’s wages in the beginning of the pandemic as the business recovered faster than expected.
“During the last six months we managed to quickly adapt to the new needs of our customers and even if our values have been put to test it’s clear that our purpose is what unites us. We are determined to create a better life for the people in a time when home has never been more important,” said Jesper Brodin, CEO Ingka Group.
IKEA’s emergency community support in India during COVID-19 included providing four million meals, 20,000 products and 1.1 million face masks/ PPE with UNICEF.