Ikea makes online push

 

IKEAIkea, whose stadium sized furniture stores draw shoppers from miles around, is making an online push.

The CEO of Ikea Group, the world’s largest furniture chain, is pushing for sales growth, while making its ready to assemble furniture more accessible to shoppers increasingly buying online.

Peter Agnefjail, Ikea’s president and CEO, said on Friday that he remains focused on reaching sales of 50 billion euros ($A69 billion) by 2020, a goal set a couple years ago.

And he says he’s not unnerved by the recent investor fears about another recession in Europe.

He plans to reach that goal by opening more stores, while making the locations more inviting and expanding its online business around the globe.

“We are optimistic about what we see,” said Agnefjail, an 18 year Ikea veteran who took over the reins from Mikael Ohlsson in September 2013.

“Unemployment is stabilising in many markets.”

But Agnefjail acknowledged the Swedish retailer, which operates 315 massive stores around the globe, has to go where shoppers are heading.

“Customers still would like to sit in the sofa and feel how comfortable it is,” he said. But he said they also mix up online and offline shopping.

Ikea is starting to see a recovery in many of its markets, particularly its European business, which accounts for about 70 per cent of total sales and has been hampered by an economic slowdown there, but Ikea also needs to offer more convenience to shoppers as it faces increasing competition here and abroad.

Last month, Ikea announced 5.9 per cent revenue growth in the year ended Aug. 31 to $28.7 billion euros. ($36.6)

That’s an increased pace from the 3.1 per cent increase in the prior year.

AP

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