The Swedish giant home furnishing Giant IKEA has opened their first-ever store in India at Hyderabad. This mammoth store houses everything to set up your new home with your own choice of aesthetics and materials. With more than 7500 products, it has everything from as small as a paper pin to as large as wardrobes. Join with me with the virtual journey of the store, its various sections, the pocket-friendly products, delicious items at the food court and the raw experience of the warehouse at the end with a flat pack of furniture which can be assembled in less than 5 minutes!
I was in Hyderabad for a business trip. In the cool weather of winter, I was visiting this beautiful city for the stay of 2 days. I boarded an early morning flight from Pune. Hyderabad airport is quite far from the main city. I travelled by the green shuttle to the destination while passing through a patch called High-tech city, a city which is planned properly with all amenities and luxuries. Upon entering the main city, a big blue mall kind of structure had my attention. The bright blue colour was shining over the yellow contrast – It is the huge IKEA store, the only IKEA store of India with more than 7500 products of home furnishing ideas!
Soon, I reached accommodation – The Westin in Madhapur. The huge property offers ultimate relaxation for business and leisure travellers. The first half of the day was busy in meeting colleagues from all over Asia and getting ready for the launch event in the evening. After having a sumptuous lunch, the big blue thing was in my thoughts constantly. I tried to take rest but was having a strong urge to visit. Immediately, I checked with some of my fellow friends, Ajeet and Dolendra got ready.
We had 4 hours before attending the event in the evening. I grabbed an auto and within 15 minutes, we were at the huge IKEA store. The Swedish furniture store is spread horizontally in the span 4,00,000 square feet in 13 acres along with a restaurant inside it. IKEA offers a wide range of home furniture solutions for a new or existing home for every corner of the home. I have heard a lot about their simple, aesthetically pleasing and space-saving products and it was time to experience all of it!
After entering the first things we got are – the map, a pencil, measuring tape and a guide. I was impressed to see the pro-active approach to engage with the customers. It has two large floors to explore. Shopping at IKEA is somewhat different and exciting as compared to everyday retail stores. It is all about experiencing solutions first hand and getting to know ideas that can fit perfectly to your home. We decided to explore the upper floor first.
Just after moving away from escalator, the huge and beautiful restaurant with bohemia vibes caught my sight and I started feeling hungry even though I had full lunch. My friends literally dragged to shop things first and we started with the section of home furniture. The collection bags were made out of the waste cement sacks, how cool is that!
The colourful set of spoons drew my attention and it was the first thing to go in the collection bag. Slowly the basic utensils section got over and we moved to rooms (literally!). It was so amazing to see how IKEA has designed small rooms on the floor which mimic actual home. I was stunned to see the space usage.
Whenever we plan to buy something for the home, we tend to think about whether it will fit the space or not? But, after seeing the magic of space utilization here, I was thoroughly inspired. In the room like settings, you can actually use the products and sense the ergonomics. Plop up on the sofas, squeeze the upholsteries, feel the rugs and open the cabinets to feel the space and quality. You can even open the wardrobes, fluff up the pillows and do a summersault on the bed, if no one is watching, haha!
The first floor was mostly about home essentials, kid’s things like bags, lunch box, bedroom essentials, and sanitary products. There was even some home office furniture for work from home routine along with spacious dining options.
My heart was jumping with joy in the toys section. The whole area made us nostalgic taking us to the era of old cartoons (well, I still watch cartoon network!). I am sure the kids enjoy this section to the fullest making sure they have at least one soft toy in the bag. Even my friends didn’t resist to have one, hehe!
The price tags on product give all the required information to give it a thought to add that product to your home, brilliant marketing strategy. You cannot remember all Swedish names so just note the number and write it on the paper, that’s it! This makes the whole shopping experience stress-free without any hassle.
After exploring the space for about an hour, we got looped to a restaurant. What an amazing space designed over here! I am a great admirer of interiors and light and this was a feast to the eyes. The modern food routine helps to control the crowd while offering great food around.
From their famous Swedish meatballs to the cupcakes, rolls, pastries – everything was super tasty. The menu is designed taking into consideration the culture and the influence of the Hyderabad cuisines. This Space not only provides food but also a workspace for corporate employees around the tech-hub. The live kitchen has professional chefs who guide to get the best of the food satisfying your taste buds.
The ground floor covers the maximum area and it has almost everything to fill every nook and corner of the home. It has an art section which has products ranging from pencil box to canvas and paints to art stands. A person can fulfill all his dream art shopping here.
Moving further, the bedroom section has cushions, pillows, pillow covers, lamps and tents. IKEA also features the textiles from various parts of India and promote the Indian woven fabrics in separate sections.
The next section is very important for house ladies and chefs with a plethora of options available to boost the culinary skills. Though it is pressure cookers, utensils, cleaning products, ovens and even modular kitchens, right from selecting the kitchen flooring, tiles, chimneys, electronic kitchenware, fine dining, Wine and Crockery items, various kitchen items in bright colours, from paper cups to fine glassware, and the food photography props, everything is under one roof!
I found that most part of the first and the second floor is about designing the different rooms in the home as your own interest. The extravagant collection can help you to craft your dream home with these amazing products. The middle portion contains home interiors and washroom decorations.
It was easy moving to different sections as visual management is perfect. There are large billboards and arrows lighted on the floor. The last section is about artificial flowers and plants. This is one of my favourite sections as I am a firm believer of Biophilia. I took some glass vessels to grow water-based creeper at home and some small pots.
The exploration of the entire 3 hours leads to the last portion of the mammoth store – the billing counter. Before moving to the counter, look at your paper for the product codes you have written while going through different furniture solution. One side you see the posh, aesthetically rich store and on another side, you enter a proper godown or warehouse.
Using the code, one has to find out his own pack of flat-packed furniture. Whether it is a study table, dining set, chairs, surfing essentials, ironing boards, Kids chairs, Vanity furniture, couches, bean bags, Sofa sets, swinging cradles or rocking chairs, you have to take out your own pack by yourself. You can get every help in terms of ladders, safety belts, trolleys but no one will give the pack in your hands. That’s was quite aligning with the vision of Narendra Modi being “AtmaNirbhar”. I thoroughly enjoyed the raw experience while moving across long aisles of shelves and boxes.
The billing counters are well organised. You could spot them from a distance due to illumination over a deem light. The moving conveyor belt takes the product to the attendant, then you choose your bag and you yourself bag your shopping into them. There is a separate counter where you have to pack your delicate items. Yes, again on your own! The Indians which are used to the culture of just pay might get irritated over here but this shall be practiced everywhere. I managed to wrap the glass vessels in paper and then bind them with cello tapes.
Each flatpack product comes with a self-assembly guide. Each of the IKEA product is designed in a way that it takes not more than 5 minutes to assemble. Next time when you buy an IKEA product, do not throw away this white paper as we usually do with other products. It is fun to assemble the product like Lego blocks! They have also partnered with UrbanClap to help in your furniture assembly services. Near to the billing counters, you can grab a coffee and chill for some time. My legs were paining like hell until I relax on the sofa. The exit space has a lounge setting to give relief to customers after a long exploration.
The exit gate is spacious with ample of pick-up points for cabs and auto-rickshaws. The exploration of 4 hours satisfied my hunger for the beautiful interiors and left every one of us in awe!
I was happy to explore the first-ever mammoth store of IKEA in India. The exposure to Scandinavian aesthetics puts a different view of home needs. Whenever it comes to home furniture and interiors, we tend to have those heavy and sturdy blocks of metal and wood just for the sake of using for a long time. I really like the way IKEA designs the products in lighter colours, sheet metal structures with minimum space utilization and ease in assembly, which adds the flexibility and agility to your home. I personally recommend to all furnishing and interior lovers, to visit this space and get some amazing, pocket-friendly products to decorate your home. After all, home is the best space to hang out, cheer up the mood and energize in these hard times of lockdown!
How to reach –
1. 31 km from Rajiva Gandhi International airport
2. 15 km from Nampalli railway station
3. 10 km from the Mehdipatanam Bus station
If you are in any part of Hyderabad, grab HYD Metro and get down at Raidurg Metro station. The store is at a walkable distance from here.
Time – 10 am to 11 PM
Duration – I take almost 5 hours to explore all the sections.
This was all about my visit to IKEA. If you are in Hyderabad or happen to visit this city, do not miss a strong dosage of amazing stuff at IKEA.
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Keep exploring! ♥