In a milestone that's been more than a decade in the making, India's first Ikea store will open on Thursday, bringing inexpensive Nordic-inspired furnishings and food to the world's fastest-growing middle class. An Ikea is slated to open in early 2019 in Mumbai, followed by stores in Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Surat and Pune. Elsewhere in Asia, it plans to set up in the Philippines and Vietnam and open additional stores in Bangkok, Thailand, within the next few years. "The pace of opening stores in India will intensify," said Harminder Sahni, founder and managing director of consulting firm Wazir Advisors in Gurgaon, near Delhi, adding that the 75-year-old Swedish company spent more than a decade researching the market to ensure its success in India. "Ikea has never failed; it's never closed a single store in its history." Ikea expects to welcome as many as 6 million visitors a year to its 13-acre complex in Hitech City, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The 400,000-square-foot showroom contains some 7,500 products, of which about 1,000 will sell for less than 200 Rupees a piece. It's the first of 25 stores Ikea plans to open across the nation by 2025. Ikea's launch comes at least 12 years after it started studying India, which is poised to overtake the US to become the world's second-largest middle-class market by 2022. By then, sales of homewares and home furnishings will probably reach $15.3 billion from $12.9 Billion last year, according to researcher Euromonitor International. "Rising incomes and affluence make for an attractive market in India, Indian consumers are curious to see what Ikea has to offer and the retailer is well-positioned to meet this demand." said Sowmya Adiraju, a research analyst with Euromonitor in Bengaluru, in an email. World's biggest furniture retailer invested more than 10 Billion Rupees on its first foray in India. It's counting on new customers in industrializing nations bolstering sales growth in the face of brand fatigue and increased competition from online retailers, such as Amazon.com in established markets. Are you all excited for this, do let us know in the comments section below.