NEW DELHI: Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has announced that it has entered discussions with authorities in the main Indian cities to identify the best locations for its stores as part of its strategy to enter the Indian market.

The world's largest furniture retailer, which also announced sales growth of 3.1% over the last year, on the back of particularly strong growth in emerging markets like China and Russia, has already set up a new product development centre in India.

It said its priority now is to find the right location for its stores at the right price in the major cities, which also needed to have easy access to public transport and a good road network, although did not identify the cities it had in mind.

The company's investment in India is the largest so far in the single-brand segment since the Indian government relaxed controls to permit 100% foreign direct investment in the sector last year, the Economic Times reported.

IKEA had proposed establishing ten furnishing and homeware stores as well as the necessary infrastructure over ten years, rising thereafter to 15 more stores.

In the meantime, it is focussing its product development centre on textiles and said it would explore other materials, such as wood, metal, plastics and lighting.

"We are focused on finding suppliers with the right competence and strategic fit, at the same time developing and growing existing suppliers," IKEA said in a statement.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff