Ikea is starting a lease in a shopping centre for the first time, in the Indian city of Mumbai. Even for the Swedes, the 'big box' era seems to end as the focus shifts to getting close to city centre residents.
Not a complete first
Ikea is said to open a two floor store in the R City Mall in Mumbai, The Economic Times India has learnt. Its sources speak of a five year lease with the possibility to extend for five more years. Analysts consider the plans to be a logical step after the opening of pop-up stores and smaller city centre stores.
It is possible that the Swedish giant chooses this path also to test the ground for its Indian expansion, as real estate in the areas it is drawn to (like the capital New Delhi) is getting ever more expensive. Ikea currently only has one store in India, which opened a year ago, and started its Indian web shop this summer. The chain is said to plan three more store openings - including the one in Mumbai - as its next step.
It will not be the first Ikea store in a shopping centre however: there already are three stores in Chinese malls, branded Livat. The difference with the situation in India is that in China, Ikea is actually the owner of the shopping centres rather than just a tenant. Three more similar centres are planned, including a megaproject of 430,000 sqm that costs a billion euros and is scheduled to open in 2020.