Ikea is attempting to boost its online sales by running trials to flog its flat-pack furniture through the likes of Amazon and Alibaba as part of a wider push to increase its marketshare.
Having shunned the online market for years – in the belief that shoppers spend more once they are in its giant warehouse outlets – the Swedish chain now sells many of its 9,500 products through its website. But its late entry means that the firm now has to play catch-up.
Ikea is also testing a smaller city centre store format, as well as order and pick-up points and standalone kitchen showrooms.
Torbjörn Lööf, chief executive of Inter Ikea, told the Financial Times it was “the biggest development in how consumers meet Ikea since the concept was founded. We want to learn … we want to find out how we could keep our identity on a third-party platform”.
There are now 403 Ikea stores globally with another 22 stores expected to open over the next 12 months in countries including India and Latvia. The retailer has outlets in 49 countries and plans to enter South America within the next five years.
The Ikea Family loyalty scheme has over 52 million members and operates throughout Europe, the Far East and the US, although not every country it operates in offers the programme. Activity in UK and Ireland is handled by Lida; Wunderman runs some of the international business.
Ikea said on Monday that global turnover rose 5% to €38.3bn (£34.2bn) for the 12 months to August.
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