// Ikea UK sales grow 8% year-on-year to £2.1bn
// This outstrips the wider performance of Ikea globally, which saw sales grow 5%
// Ikea also grew its market share in the UK to 9%
Soaring demand for energy-saving and environmentally sustainable products has helped Ikea buck the challenges plaguing the UK retail market to report full-year sales uptick.
The Swedish furniture retailer – which has 22 stores and employs 11,181 staff in the UK – said sales in its UK market jumped eight per cent to reach £2.1 billion for the year to August 31.
The UK sales hike outperformed the wider Ikea group, which saw global retail sales increase five per cent in the same full-year period.
Ikea also saw its share of the UK home furnishings market rise to nine per cent, up from 8.4 per cent the previous year, with products resonating with consumers keen to slash waste and single-use disposable plastic.
- Ikea eyes shopping centre sites as part of expansion plan
- Ikea faces monumental EU tax bill
- Ikea sales increase 5% amid ongoing transformation
Ikea said sales of lunchboxes for preserving leftovers surged by 127 per cent, reusable water bottles sales jumped 55 per cent hike and recycling bin sales grew 15 per cent.
The furniture giant added that its full-year sales performance was boosted by a surge in online sales, with 224 million visits to its website over the year and ecommerce now accounting for 19 per cent of all sales.
“Despite a challenging retail environment, Ikea has seen another year of strong sales growth as we continue the transformation of our business,” Ikea UK country manager Peter Jelkeby said.
“We know that people’s shopping habits and expectations are changing, so continued investments in our shopping experience, our people and in adapting our operations to ensure we become a fully circular business by 2030, will be vital to secure the success of our business in the future.”
Online sales were boosted by moves to improve customer experience, including a virtual reality app which helps customers to visualise what Ikea furniture will look like in their homes, as well as an in-store app designed to improve the physical shopping experience.
Ikea has also been investing in its home delivery service, opening two new customer delivery centres in London amid aims to offer 24-hour delivery in the capital and within two days across the rest of the UK by the end of 2019.
Its sustainability drive saw the retailer take action to help cut back on waste internally by axing single-use plastic straws from its restaurants and ensuring 98 per cent of its packaging is now renewable, recyclable or recycled.
The year also saw Ikea open its first sustainable store in Greenwich, south east London, with technologies including solar power, LED lighting, rainwater harvesting and a geothermal system providing 80 per cent of the heating and hot water.
Ikea’s strong full year performance in the UK comes amid a restructure in which the retailer is slashing 7500 jobs globally, including 350 in the UK.
However, it is also creating 11,500 new jobs globally this year and next through new openings and investment in delivery and digital operations.
This included 500 new jobs at its the Greenwich store.