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Ikea’s impressive year: sales rising for furniture giant

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Ikea has announced impressive growth in sales across the globe, achieving £23bn in the year at the end of August. Sales were up by 5% on the previous year in comparable sales.

The furniture giant has 328 stores across 28 countries, and estimates that they enjoyed 771m visits in its most recent financial year.

Ikea’s President and Chief Executive Pete Agnefjall said: “We are growing in almost all our markets and we are happy about last year’s sales development.”

At the forefront of the company’s growth is its China market. Increased mass migration to the major cities in the world’s most populous country has created a stable and huge customer base. China is home to eight of Ikea’s ten largest stores, including two in the city of Beijing: a city of 10m people.

“The Chinese middleclass continues developing and in pace with its growth an interest for our product rises too. We have more visitors in our department stores now and we have opened three new stores in China during the year (2015). We are going to open three new stores the next year too…”

Russia, the Swedish retailer’s second fastest growing market, enjoys 14 ‘Mega shopping centres’: a chain of 14 complexes from St Petersburg to Novosibirsk. Russia, like China, has proved a problem for many other retailers.

Sales in Germany and North America were also positive, and the company also enjoyed “positive progress” in Southern Europe.

Andy Street, MD at John Lewis, announced last month that the department store chain is gunning for Ikea’s position as the UK’s largest furniture retailer, with aims to surpass the company in the next four years. Retail consultancy firm Conlumino estimates that Ikea will have 6% of the UK market for homeware, furniture and flooring sales in 2015, whilst John Lewis will have 5.8%.

Ikea can certainly enjoy its success for now, however. Unlike its rival, John Lewis’s most recent financial report was decidedly negative.

A more detailed financial report for Ikea will be released in December 2015.

Published on Friday 11 September by Philip Gallagher

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