John Lewis Boss Andy Street has said the department store will knock Ikea off the top spot within four years following the £14m investment in renovating its flagship Oxford Street store and revamping its home business.
Street warned the Swedish furniture giant, the world’s largest, that John Lewis aims to take its place as Britain’s biggest home and furniture retailer.
Speaking in store, he said: “If you look at the trading results for the last five years, ever since the recession really, we have gained market share significantly.
“Now we are clearly second in the market behind Ikea – and clearly first in lots of categories – but we will overtake Ikea. I am not sure exactly when, but I am more than happy to predict it will be within the next four years, at the pace we are closing the gap at the moment.”
According to figures from retail consultancy Conlumino, Ikea will account for 6% of homeware, furniture and flooring sales this year, while John Lewis will have 5.8% of the market.
Street claimed the modernisation of the home department in the Oxford Street flagship, which is expected to be unveiled next week, will make John Lewis the “best in the world”.
The renovation includes a new home hub at the centre of the department that will enable shoppers to digitally place furniture within virtual rooms of their home and design their own carpets and curtains.
Street said: “We have always said we have a nice balance between home, fashion and technology, but if we are really honest the area that John Lewis is most famous for is home. I always say home is where the heart is for this business.”
However, the Chief Exec denies that the chain is simply trying to surpass Ikea by upgrading its home department.
John Lewis has 31 department stores and 11 John Lewis at home stores in the UK and currently employs 93,800 permanent staff. Ikea, which is renowned for its flat-pack furniture, has 18 UK stores, with another planned in Reading.