International furniture and home furnishing brand IKEA plans to set up three stores in Uttar Pradesh (UP), at Lucknow, Agra and Noida. The company targets to invest about Rs 500 crore in each of these proposed stores. In this regard, IKEA on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government, which would facilitate time-bound and easy rollout of the company’s business plans in UP through a single-window system mechanism. The MoU was signed in the presence of UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and IKEA India Chief Executive Juvenico Maetzu and Country Property Manager Jeff Dolin. Besides, the company would also strengthen its supply chain and supplier network in the state. IKEA already has a partnership with rural-based women in Varanasi for selling their products at its stores.
IKEA Foundation runs several social sector projects in association with the state carpet manufacturers. Earlier, IKEA had set up an automatic loom in the carpet belt of Bhadohi, near Varanasi. For boosting productivity and improving the work conditions in the carpet manufacturing units. For ensuring maximum benefit, Ikea has chosen not to file for its patent, a company official informed. In fact, Ikea has been sourcing products manufactured in India for the past 28 years to showcase at its stores. Meanwhile, Yadav said his government was working towards improving ‘ease of doing’ business environment in UP. Recently, UP has been ranked 10th in this parameter, while Gujarat tops the list.
He said Rs 85,524 crore worth of investment came to UP from April 2012 to present. Yadav became the CM of UP in March 2012. In the recent investors' meet at Mumbai, investment proposals worth Rs 51,000 crore were received.