// Ikea plans 50 store openings around the world – including the UK – even as shoppers move online
// 30 of these new stores will open next year, including one at Hammersmith, west London
// Full year global sales at Ikea dipped 4% to €35.2bn. It also recorded a profit, but did not disclose how much
Ikea has revealed plans to open a record number of stores around the world – including in the UK – despite a dramatic shift to online shopping due to the pandemic.
The Swedish furniture giant and its franchisees wants to add 50 new stores to the 445 sites in its current worldwide portfolio.
Thirty of these new Ikea stores will open next year – one of which will be its first city-centre UK store in Hammersmith, west London, due to open in spring.
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The news comes as Ikea reported a four per cent decline in overall global sales to €35.2 billion (£32 billion) in the year to the end of August.
The sales dip was driven by enforced store closures from various lockdowns restrictions across 75 per cent of the company’s global store estate.
Online sales surged 60 per cent during the year and accounted for 18 per cent of Ikea’s total sales – compared to 11 per cent the previous year.
Ikea also said it did make a full-year profit, but it did not disclose how much.
Nonetheless, it the furniture retailer said it has reimbursed the money it received through the furlough scheme as the business “recovered faster than expected”.
It also said the trading update delivered a better result than it had expected at the height of the global lockdown.
Ingka Group, a franchise company that operates the majority of Ikea stores, attributed the ambitious store expansion plans to rising demand after lockdown as people continue to refurbish their homes.
“We were expecting a gradual ramp-up in our business [when our stores began to reopen around the world], but we like many others were absolutely wrong,” Inkga Group boss Jesper Brodin told BBC’s Today programme today.
“From day one of opening we have had a tremendous interest in coming back to our stores.”