This photo taken on June 22, 2018 shows the under-construction site of an IKEA store in Hyderabad.
/ AFP / NOAH SEELAM
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Furniture giant Ikea is set to open its first store and restaurant in India after years of trying but arguably its most famous item is off the menu – Swedish meatballs. Ikea, the world's biggest furniture retailer, will next month cut the ribbon on a massive 37,000-square-meter outlet in the southern city of Hyderabad, complete with a 1,000-seater cafeteria.The restaurant will be Ikea's largest and will cater to local tastes, with religious sensitivities in India dictating that beef and pork, key to the retailer's staple Swedish meatballs, will not be served.Ikea has already spent close to $750 million procuring sites for four stores, including the one in Hyderabad, which will open in July on a date that is yet to be announced.Ikea, founded in 1943 by late Swedish entrepreneur Ingvar Kamprad, operates 418 stores in 49 markets.Seven years later the rules were relaxed to allow foreign businesses to own retail stores operating under a single brand, clearing the way for Ikea's entry into India.
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