Furniture made from bamboo, one of the fastest-growing plants, accounts for about 1% of Ikea’s global sales of EUR 30 billion (about Rs 2,28,600 crore), and is mainly sourced from Indonesia, China and other far east countries. The Swedish retailer known for its ready to assemble products now wants to change that.
“We believe India can be the game changer in the bamboo furniture industry. India can be the leading bamboo furniture producer in the world if they get it together,” said Patrik Antony, communications manager at Ikea India.
Ikea has recently partnered with a bamboo grower in Bangalore and is looking at roping in at least a dozen suppliers from primarily north-eastern states. The firm is in talks with a few state governments to incentivise bamboo cultivation and supply. Ikea is responsible for approximately 1% of world commercial-product wood consumption, making it one of the largest users of wood in the retail sector.
Ikea will open its first Indian store early next year in Hyderabad. It plans to open 25 stores — each large enough to fit about four football fields — in the country by 2025.
Ikea said India is the first country where it has announced its long term plans even before opening a store, indicating the potential it sees in the market. “What we normally do is open one store and we look at what happens. This is the first time Ikea is opening a country and not a store,” Antony said.