IKEA now delivers in Mumbai

11:48 AM

The title of this blog post cannot convey my excitment strong enough, not without using a bazillion exclamation marks and possibly a few happy dance emojis.

IKEA now delivers in MUMBAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first store in India opened last year in Hyderabad and since then, the rest of the country has been waiting to get to get their own share of the Ikea experience. Many questioned the decision of Ikea not venturing into e-shopping right away, in a big country like India, with many big cities full of people crunched for space in their home, going the e-retail route would have made tons of sense. 

Instead, Ikea promised a Mumbai store (or rather Navi Mumbai) due to open around July 2019. That month came and went and we still don't have the store opened yet.
But, in a fairly new move for IKEA, they decided to roll out their online shopping site out. Around the world, their strategy has always been to have brick and mortar stores and only then move to e-shopping. They are currently not only rolling out the e-retail, they apparently are also thinking of a smaller scale mini-shop system to complement the mega-store due to open soon in Mumbai. At least according to this article

In late July, I got news from friends that they started delivering to South Mumbai, but not in the suburbs, which makes little sense if you are familiar with the Mumbai geography. I contacted them via their customer care to ask when they would roll it out to suburbs, and they told me they would do it very soon. 
As of early August, they now do delivers to all Mumbai pin codes that I know of, but they won't ship glass items like tableware, and some other no breakable items are also marked as "not available online".

If you follow me on Instagram and watch my Insta-stories, you know I made a test order as soon as I noticed they were delivering to my pin code. I kept it small : a table runner and 4 palm leaf placemats, which with delivery included set me to about 890 rupees. 

That packaged arrived on August 10, exactly as Ikea told me, in the very time frame they announced at the time of placing the order. All deliveries to Mumbai take 4 days if you order online. 

Satisfied with the whole experience, I immediately browsed the website to look at show cabinets options since our hallway has been in total chaos for 2 years, and now with a puppy in the house, we really need to hide all the shoes away. Along with that shoe cabinet, I ordered a few items to organise the sink area in our super tiny kitchen as well. 

This is what our hallway looked like before Ikea's shoe cabinet got delivered : 

Believe it or not, this picture still shows a somewhat tidy hallway, on most days it's cluttered, there are shoes and cloths bags everywhere (thanks Kiwi!), add my art students shoes to that and you have one big hot mess. Notice the green Croc near the console table? That's what Kiwi does to shoes! She drags them everywhere in the home, and despite having a tiny mouth with tiny teeth, the already broke a pair of flip flops. 

This is what the hallway looked like after I assembled the cabinet : 

Neat huh? Since that hallway is very narrow, and opens on the kitchen right after the main door, we needed enough space to move frequently in the space. This ruled out most conventional shoe racks you usually find on the Indian market, all of which are also super expensive. 
Fortunately, IKEA being Swedish company, and European home being quite small to begin with, they have affordable storage solutions that work for tiny space. 
This shoe cabinet is their BISSA model with 3 compartment, like all their furniture system, this one is also modular, the unit we bought is a 3 door unit, but they also have a 2 compartment option, and there is always the possiblity to put a few units side by side. 

These units can all be secured to the wall if needed, in fact IKEA recommends you do so, which I didn't because the unit sits nicely and is heavy enough not to topple over....BUT...I don't have a crazy toddler climbing on everything anymore. If Ishita had been smaller, I would have anchored the crap out of that cabinet into the wall. If you plan on having more than one unit side by side, anchoring them to the wall will also ensure everything sits nice and straight too. 
This unit set us less than 3500 rupees, for the record, we bought a bulky and cheap laminate unit from  Home Town in 2008 that not only looked ugly after 4 years, but also set us a cool 5k back in the days. 

We are already talking of either getting a side bench, or a shorter unit to store more stuff, because we still have the Umbrella basket out (monsoon oblige) and the smaller blue basket that is full of cloth shopping bags. 
There is also the possibility of us ordering a "Hat rack" like this one to store the shoe polish box and hang Ishita's school bag, Kiwi's leash, and in the winter, a hoodie jacket of shawl. 
Because one of the strength of Ikea's storage and furniture solutions is that they plan the space in 3 dimension. 
When you deal with small homes, you can't see your storage and furniture potential in term of square feet, you have to think in matter of CUBIC feet, and trust me this is something that has driven me absolutely bonkers in India, no furniture shop, no home solution shop seem to think in term of anything but furnitures that sits straight on the floor. 
Floating shelves, foldable racks, or railing systems to store things in compact home are all still a fairly alien system in India. This is where Ikea will shine if you ask me.

One of the other thing I ordered along with that shoe cabinet was a bunch of dishwashing accessories from their RINNIG series. I previously had a sponge and detergent holder bought on Amazon, and an Elephant drainer for my spoons, also from Amazon (both Amazon links are affiliate links by the way). Both were OK, I needed this solution when we moved into this flat in 2017 because the sink area is really tiny, but half the time, the elephant drainer would wall into the sink, and so would the hand wash bottle which was sitting very precariously on the barely 2 inches wide gap between the sink and the back wall. The two accessories I had would also get super dirty, had too many nooks and corners, and as I write, the elephant drainer is actually beyond even dishwasher cleaning, a lot of black mold grew in places I can't reach to clean. 

That IKEA series, ensure that every single elements within said series fit with one another, so the RINNIG black draining basket has enough space to accommodate two RINNIG soap dispensers, and still has space to hold sponges, the RINNIG dish brush I bought, and yes, forks and spoons I might wash by hand. They also have a RINNIG dish drainer that is slanted so that the water goes straight back into the sink, and also has the exact dimensions to hold the draining basket I bought securely in place. I won't buy that one because I really don't wash enough dishes by hand anymore to justify eating that precious counter space, but if you hand wash your dishes, I can already see how that one would make a world of difference. 

One of IKEA's core idea is that everything is bought in flat pack when it comes to furnitures, the idea is that asking customer to pick it up from the warehouse at the store, taking it home and assembling it themselves will save a lot on the actual cost of the furniture.
As all Europeans, I have zero problem with it, and built my fair share of IKEA furnitures over the year. Going to IKEA when you move out of your parent's home to furnish your first grown up apartment is pretty much a rite of passage where I come from. It's also the to-go store for families with kids who need practical furnitures without breaking the bank. So between the furnitures I assembled as a teenager, the ones I assembled into my on grown up studio apartment, and the ones I assembled in my friends homes (it's a fun social activity) I think I have a total of 30+ furnitures ranging from Entertainment units to tiny drawer units, not forgetting the various bookshelves, wardrobes and bed frames.

I always wondered how they would solve the cultural issue of delegating handiwork in India. The average middle class Indian family usually call the electrician just to change a tube light, so building a flat pack furniture isn't something they would venture into at all.
Looks like IKEA has tied up with Urban Clap in that matter, people can buy their furniture from IKEA, have them delivered in boxes if they are too big and bulky, and then they can if needed book an assembly service through the app.

But my advice to anybody ordering furnitures on IKEA is to not be scared trying to assemble it yourself, their assembly instruction manual is a fool proof step by step manual that really looks an awful lot like the one that comes with Lego sets that kids can build on their own.
It starts with a list and count of all the parts, the basic tools you will need to assemble it (usually a hammer, Philips head and flat head screwdriver) and then tells you what to use for each steps. If you don't rush, look at your manual carefully, and don't skip steps you can totally do it.

I assembled that shoe rack all by myself in one hour, and that was because I had a double pet handicap. Both Mittens and Kiwi were all over my building site, Kiwi wanted to chew screws and dowels, and Mittens rubbed herself on every elements and sat into anything that looked like a box, occasionally hissing at Kiwi for wanting to chew something that was too close to her and threatened her IKEA box experience.

When will IKEA come to the rest of India? 

As of now, it seems that Mumbai is getting online shopping delivery, I could not find the details about other big cities, but after the massive success of the IKEA store in Hyderabad which saw 4 millions people visiting in its first year, and a better understanding of what people buy in India, they have decided to launch a smaller store format to complement big stores in big cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Read this article for more details

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