Lockdown online shopping saved our skins, says Ikea

ikea-1376853_1920Swedish flatpack giant Ikea, which for years resisted switching to ecommerce because it knew shoppers would buy more once instore, has vowed to increase its home shopping operation after the retailer’s CEO admitted that “online saved us” during lockdown.

According to its latest results, in the 12 months to August 30, Ikea witnessed a 45% increase in online revenues, accounting for 18% of total sales, up from 11% the previous year.

Jesper Brodin, the head of Ikea’s largest franchise operator Ingka Group, conceded that ecommerce sales had prevented the retailer from reporting a “record loss” this year as three quarters of stores were shut for over six months.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Brodin said that while Ikea was forging ahead with a major store expansion programme, its “retail transformation” will include significant digital investments and the roll out of smaller urban stores.

He added that its flagship big-box stores have helped it quickly shift towards a more online focused model, acting as places “which serve home delivery and fulfilment”.

Moving forward, Brodin explained it was Ikea’s aim to “become more accessible for people where they are, whenever they like”, adding that coronavirus has “accentuated and speeded up that shift for us”.

Proximity London has handled the Ikea Family loyalty scheme since early 2018, in a move which coincided with the firm’s first foray into online sales through the likes of Amazon and Alibaba and its opening of smaller stores.

At the time, Inter Ikea CEO Torbjörn Lööf said 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”.

The Ikea Family loyalty scheme has over 52 million members and operates throughout Europe, the Far East and the US.

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