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Ikea strives for place in the sun through global solar offering

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Ikea has announced its intention to become the world’s number one retailer for residential solar power.

The Swedish furniture giant has plans to roll out its solar power offering to nine countries in 2016/17, including three in Europe: the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK.

The company has already experienced success in trialling its ranges in these locations, reporting that customers reacted well to the simplicity and transparency of the program.

“Ikea’s ambition is to help and inspire their customers to live a more sustainable life at home and the residential solar program is one step on the way to reach that ambition,” said Hakan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation at Ikea. “Last year there were 770m visits to Ikea stores worldwide and the company sees that as a great platform to fulfil our ambition and for people to be able to live a more sustainable life at home.”

Indeed, Ikea has enjoyed more success than most in expanding its business internationally. It has several successful outlets in China, a country that has become infamous for the levels of pollution in its major cities.

“Ikea performed a pilot program in the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland to understand if residential solar would fit naturally into the minds of Ikea customers,” Nordkvist continued. “The three countries were selected based on many criteria, among others the difference in regulatory environment and maturity of their solar market.”

Ikea will reportedly be working with different suppliers and installers in local markets in an attempt to make the solar power offerings as bespoke as possible. The company has also affirmed that it will not be selling self-branded modules, mounting systems or inverters.

“To be able to deploy residential solar in a big scale we need to have a very simple and transparent purchase process for the customer and the offer needs to be very affordable, this is what our customers normally get when they visit Ikea and this is what we will continue to have, including the residential solar offer.”

Published on Thursday 31 March by Philip Gallagher

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