Ikea expands e-commerce rollout

Ikea plans to extend e-commerce into all its markets within the next few years. During an announcement of quarterly results, the company said the online expansion, which was put on hold for the past year, will now resume.

Ikea currently offers online retailing in 13 of the 27 markets in which it has stores, reported Bloomberg

This year the brand focused on improving brick-and-mortar sales, a plan that seems to go against the grain of the digital-driven marketplace.

Ikea's sales increased 5.9 percent to $37 billion in the past 12 months ending in August. Comparable store sales for the year grew 3.6 percent. Shoppers amounted to 716 million in-store visits and 1.5 billion visits online.

The furniture retailer gained sales as consumer spending and global demand for its furniture continued to pick up, notably in China, where the company opened three new stores this year, reported Reuters.

"A year ago, it was very difficult for most retailers in southern Europe, as for Ikea. But we now generally see that things are stabilizing," chief executive Peter Agnefjall told Reuters.

The retailer plans to double its sales by 2020 by improving stores, opening new outlets, expanding online product availability, and introducing new collections on a more frequent basis.

In June, in response to a shift in shopping habits to smaller local stores, Ikea opened its first city-center store in Germany.

"I think it's important for us to grow and be where many people are," Angefjall said. "We do see growing urbanization and we have to see how that will impact our business."

For more:
-See this Bloomberg story
-See this Reuters article

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