18:32 GMT +321 August 2018
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    Indian customers stand outside IKEA's first store in India as it opened in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Aug.9, 2018

    Ikea Chaos: Opening of First Store in India Causes Stampede, Traffic Jam (VIDEO)

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    Swedish furniture giant IKEA opened its first store in India on Thursday, but it had no idea how much Indians love home decor - or biryani. The opening drew tens of thousands of people, clogging streets and causing a stampede.

    The 400,000-square-foot store opened in Hyderabad, Telangana, to more fanfare than the company expected. The megastore, which covers 13 acres, drew over 40,000 visitors on its first day, India Today noted. The highways outside were clogged with customers.

    ​This despite the store arranging three external parking lots to accommodate customers.

    But once folks were parked, they just couldn't get inside fast enough! A stampede ensued at one point:

    ​The lines were long, but at least social media was amused by the reports. One netizen suggested the idea of moving one's feet was unknown to the customers.

    ​Another thought maybe the throngs of people were confused, thinking that IKEA meant "god" and they were lined up outside the Venkateswara Temple in Andhra Pradesh's Tirupati, the world's most-visited holy place, famous for its long lines of pilgrims.

    ​But why the rush? One person suggested perhaps residents of the City of Pearls had been living all this time without any furniture in their houses:

    ​Once inside, Hyderabadis spent an enormous amount of rupees: over 95 lakh (9.5 million rupees) on the first day.

    Much of that went toward home decor, of course, but also very popular was the store's 1,000-person restaurant, by far the chain's largest and perhaps the world's largest, India Today reported.

    The restaurant carries Swedish staples like meatballs, as all IKEA stores do (although these have a different recipe to accommodate Hindu and Muslim diets), but the other half of the menu is Indian staples like samosas and biryani, the latter of which the store sold 20,000 meals of on its first day!

    ​The retailer said it expects to set additional sales records through the weekend. IKEA also hopes to open a second Indian store in Navi Mumbai next year and is exploring further sites in Karnataka and Delhi.

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    Tags:
    social media reactions, store, stampede, record, opening, sales, IKEA, Hyderabad, India
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