Swedish furniture chain Ikea saw its turnover grow 3.8 % to 34.1 billion euro in its past fiscal year. The Swedes' ambition doesn't end there: a new digital platform and an urban store concept should further raise sales figures.
Fifteen new stores
Ikea Group’s growth is mainly thanks to the fact it opened fifteen new stores in the past fiscal year. In total, the chain welcomed 817 million people and another 2.1 billion people visited the company’s online platform. For the current fiscal year, it hopes to open 22 new stores, including in Latvia and India. The goal is to have a South American presence sometime in the next five years.
“Our stable financial position allows us to invest in an improved customer experience in every one of our sales channels”, Ikea Group CEO and president, Jesper Brodin, said. The Swedish company also continues to invest in sustainability: it now operates 415 wind turbines, which should help it become energy neutral by 2020.
Strong Belgian growth
Dutch turnover grew 4.3 % to 1.2 billion euro. “We benefited from the improved economic situation and the positive mood in the housing market”, Ikea Netherlands country retail manager, Lena Herder, said. “We have grown in every area, with more than double-digit growth for our kitchen division.” Ikea claims the new “Order and pick up” service is also a huge success.
Belgium nearly doubled the Dutch growth, with a 7.9 % turnover increase to 903 million euro, mainly thanks to the first full-year results of two new stores (one in Hasselt and one in Mons). “We also experienced strong increases for matrass and kitchen sales”, Ikea Belgium CEO, Catherine Bendayan, said. It has also been a year since Belgian customers can pick up their online orders at eight of the company’s seventeen local stores. Starting next year, home deliveries are also part of its services.
New digital platform
Ikea has also more clearly outlined its plans to sell its furniture at third parties. There were rumours in June that Ikea was looking at Alibaba and Amazon to help boost its online turnover, a move to counter the lower visitor numbers at its stores. It will also launch a new digital platform where consumers can help develop and trial new products.
It will also tackle its urban store formula, in order to have its full product range available in smaller stores. Digital aids are a means to help achieve that.