In a strategic move to expand its product availability, Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is set to begin online doorstep deliveries to 62 new districts in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh from February 1. 

The retail major also has plans to open up e-commerce deliveries in the Delhi-NCR region within a year.

Susanne Pulverer, CEO & CSO , Ikea India, told businessline, “ Ecommerce channel has seen significant growth in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. We have seen customers travelling from a number of neighbouring markets to our stores in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Sometimes they travel nearly half a day to come to our stores. In order to make ourselves accessible in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, we have decided to open up doorstep deliveries to additional markets in these four states. We have over time developed fulfillment capacities through our stores to serve these new markets.”

This marks a shift in the Swedish furniture retailer’s strategy to focus on launching new physical stores and enable wider access to its products through e-commerce operations.

Online channel currently contributes 25 per cent to Ikea India’s sales, and the company expects this share to grow further as it expands to newer markets.

Ikea currently has three big format stores in Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai, and Bengaluru and two city stores in Mumbai. Its products are available online in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Surat.

“ We have been building capabilities to ensure that the online shopping expierence is seamless for our consumers in these additional markets and products arrive within the timelines that we promise. So we are working with partners for delivery. We believe we can do well in fulfilling doorstep deliveries from our stores to these 62 districts within a reasonable lead time of 7-10 days,” she added.

Talking about online shopping patterns, she pointed out that consumers begin by buying smaller items such as home furnishing and accessories. “ As consumers get acquainted with the brand, gradually they also begin buying furniture online,” she added.

Responding to a query on plans for the Delhi-NCR region, Pulverer said, “ We have been working on building our presence in Delhi-NCR, a key North market. That will be our next initiative. We plan to commence online operations in about a year in Delhi which will be followed up with the opening of the meeting place integrated with an Ikea store in Gurgaon sometime in 2025.”

Pulverer said that a recent report by Ikea indicated that 71 per cent of Indian consumers have a positive outlook for the coming two years compared to the 47 per cent average on the global level. “ So Indian consumers are quite positive. This is the growth decade for India and we are looking forward to more and more Indians investing in homes with rising disposable incomes. India is a priority market and we are looking forward to good growth in this decade,” she added.