Ikea’s UK sales rise despite tough climate

Ikea UK

Ikea has booked rising full year sales in the UK thanks to the opening of two new big box stores and a surge in online transactions, despite a “tough economic environment”.

The Swedish furniture retailer said sales in its UK market for the year ending August 31 increased 5.9 per cent to £1.96 billion, as more Brits spent money on home improvements.

Ikea UK added that 59.8 million customers walked through its doors throughout the year, which was buoyed by the opening of two new big box stores in Exeter and Sheffield.

Meanwhile, its online arm was a star performer, with 199.3 million visits to Ikea’s UK website – an increase of 13.4 per cent.

The retailer added that website sales grew by 14.4 per cent and now represent 15.5 per cent of total sales.

Subsequently, Ikea increased its market share in the UK by 0.4 per cent to 8.4 per cent.

“FY18 has been a positive year for IKEA in the UK and we know that our products remain a key growth driver,” Ikea UK country retail manager Javier Quiñones said.

“With our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, we continue to invest in a range that’s affordable, accessible and inspirational.

“In a tough economic environment, our homes provide a sanctuary and we know that consumers continue to update them with soft furnishings, textiles and decorations, resulting in an increase of nine per cent in home decoration.

“Two years ago, we refurbished the living room department in all stores and we are still seeing strong growth off the back of this, with living Room seating [up] eight per cent on last year.”

For the current financial year, Ikea launched its first inner city “Planning Studio” on London’s Tottenham Court Road, while another new big box store in Greenwich is slated to open in early 2019.

Ikea said it has invested heavily in its distribution and fulfilment network with two new customer delivery centres and a parcel unit opening in London, resulting in reduced delivery lead times and an increase of 65.9 per cent in parcel deliveries.

“In FY18 we continued to invest in our existing stores including the total refurbishment of Ikea Nottingham, it’s just like new,” Quiñones said.

“We also revamped the textiles department in Milton Keynes, giving more space for customers and co-workers to co-create together.

“However, we know that the role of the store is changing. People want to shop in a number of different ways and count on brands to offer them services that reflect the way they live.

“That’s why we are focused on providing a seamless shopping experience and want to give our customers the choices they expect, no matter how they choose to shop with us.”

Quiñones added: “Whilst we’re pleased with our performance, we recognise that a challenging retail and economic environment means we need to continue to respond to our customers’ needs and invest in an Ikea that is here for people, whenever and wherever they need us.”

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