THANE, December 18 (IANS): Swedish furniture giant IKEA welcomed the first customer at its second store in India, which was opened at Turbhe in Navi Mumbai on Friday.
Spread across 5.30 lakh square feet, the store will permit only pre-registered customers up to 2,500 daily in view of the Covid-19 restrictions and following all the protocols, said a company spokesperson.
On Thursday, Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray made an inauguration-eve visit to the IKEA store, went around the premises and interacted with the staff.
IKEA India CEO Peter Betzel said that people can now not only visit the store, but also shop online, or buy their favourite and affordable products through its 'click & collect' services.
IKEA India Market and Expansion Manager and Maharashtra MD Per Hornell said that the company has made more than 2,000 home visits in Mumbai to create solutions that reflect people's life in the city, adding that IKEA would help create jobs and opportunities for a growing eco-system for the entire industry.
In a message, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the store in Navi Mumbai would be a big step towards boosting the local economy, particularly since the state is among the top preferred investment destinations in India.
"IKEA store will not only attract and create many jobs, but also pave the way for more companies to accelerate their investment plans in the state," the CM said.
Sweden's Consul-General in Mumbai Anna Lekvall termed the opening of the store as a milestone in 'Swedish-Indian Sambandh', saying the Navi Mumbai store coming up in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic is a testimony to the support to Swedish companies by India and Maharashtra.
Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, said the store would facilitate the growth of the retail industry in the state besides creating more employment, and clear the way for higher FDI investments in the country.
The company plans to make an investment of Rs 6,000 crore by 2030, cater to 25 million people in the state, provide over 6,000 jobs, including half for women, with at least 40 per cent drawn locally, besides 70 per cent support staff comprising locals.