India's largest IKEA store opens in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said leading Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA has decided to invest about Rs 3,000 crore in the state.

The Chief Minister inaugurated IKEA’s largest store in India at Nagasandra here, which is the furnishing retailer’s fourth outlet in the country, it said in a release.

“The company has decided to invest about Rs 3,000 crore,” Bommai said.

He had held preliminary talks in this regard with IKEA’s CEO during his recent visit to Davos in Switzerland to participate in the World Economic Forum meet.

With a planned investment of Rs 3,000 crore in Karnataka, IKEA is expecting to attract close to five million visitors this year in Bengaluru, the company had said on Tuesday.

Stating that locals would get maximum employment opportunities in IKEA Furniture and Home Furnishing outlet here, Bommai said the company heads have assured 75 per cent of the jobs for local people.

According to the company, IKEA has employed 1,000 co-workers with 72 per cent local co-workers and plans to hire more people from the local neighbourhood.

The store also believes in empowering women and has seen women taking up jobs traditionally reserved for men, such as forklift driving, power stacking, assembly, and installation services, the company added.

Further noting that the launch of an IKEA outlet would create more opportunities for local artisans, carpenters, furniture designers and those engaged in other related vocations, the Chief Minister said, presently the company has stated that they would provide 27 per cent representation for local residents.

“I have requested them to ramp it (job opportunities) up. Each outlet provides employment opportunities for about 1,000 persons. I have also asked them to open more outlets in Bengaluru, including one in south Bengaluru, as the city has the potential for more,” he said.

IKEA was keen to launch their first outlet in Bengaluru, but it faced a few hiccups. The company has opened its outlet after struggling to get suitable land to set up the outlet, he added.

Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani, Ambassador of Sweden Klas Molin, IKEA India CEO Susanne Pulverer were among others present at the inaugural.

Spread over 12.2 acres, the 4,60,000 sq. ft. IKEA Nagasandra store will feature more than 7,000 well-designed home furnishing products along with over 65 beautifully designed room sets for ideas and inspirations at home.

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