WSJ: “Swedish housewares giant IKEA Group asked India for permission to invest €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) in the country to set up 25 retail stores in coming years, a commitment that provides some relief for New Delhi policy makers who have been trying to boost sagging foreign-investor sentiment.
IKEA’s foray into India, made possible by a policy change last year that allowed some retailers to own 100% of their Indian units, could help transform India’s largely unorganized, $500 billion retail sector. But the company will face significant challenges, including meeting the government’s mandate that it source 30% of inventory from local small-scale industries.
IKEA, which has 290 stores in 26 countries and is known for selling affordable, modern-looking furniture and housewares, said that if the Indian government approves its application it could have a significant effect on the country’s retail sector, “vastly improving availability of high-quality, low-price products not available in India.”
The company announced its decision after its chief executive, Mikael Ohlsson, met with Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Friday at a conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.”
See also: Consumerism grows in India