As part of its entry plan for India, Swedish furniture chain IKEA on Monday said it has begun talks with authorities in main cities to get a better understanding of the market.
The company, which has set up a new product development centre in India, also said it is primarily focusing on textiles to enable development on the factory floor and optimise production, while also exploring other materials like wood, metal, plastic and lighting.
The government on May 2, 2013 approved IKEA's Rs 10,500 crore proposal for setting up home furnishing stores in the country.
As on date, the Swedish retail major's investment is the largest in the single-brand retail segment ever since the government allowed 100 per cent foreign investment in this sector last year.
"In India, we are currently defining the entry plan for IKEA. Talks have begun with authorities and representatives in the main cities to get a better understanding of the states and also share IKEA's business model and needs," IKEA said in a statement.
Elaborating on its strategy, the company said: "The most important priority is to find the right location for our stores at the right price in major cities, with easy access to public transport (metro) and good road network."
It, however, did not specify the cities which the company is exploring at the moment.
In August, IKEA CEO Mikael Ohlsson had informed Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma that the Swedish furniture major has identified four states – Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka – to set up its stores.
On product development in India, IKEA said it will extend from textiles to other items.
"With primary focus on textiles, we will also explore other materials such as wood, metal, plastic, lighting," it said.
IKEA said it has been sourcing from India for more than 25 years.
"We are focused on finding suppliers with the right competence and strategic fit, at the same time developing and growing existing suppliers," IKEA said.
The firm had proposed setting up 10 furnishing and homeware stores as well as allied infrastructure in over 10 years in India. Subsequently, it plans to open 15 more stores.
The government had allowed IKEA to run cafes and restaurants within its single brand stores in India, but it cannot sell packed food items. It can sell food and beverages at its restaurants or cafes located within its stores.