The company will in the coming years open stores in Chile, Colombia and Peru through a new Ikea franchisee called Falabella as part of its first foray into South America, Inter Ikea said in an emailed statement yesterday. Inter Ikea, which owns the Ikea concept and is the worldwide franchisor, also said the company plans to start selling its products in Mexico, Estonia, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, Oman, Luxembourg, Macau and the Philippines.
“By 2025, we have the potential to reach and interact with 3 billion people,” Inter Ikea Chief Executive Officer Torbjorn Loof said in the statement. “We will offer new and different ways to shop the Ikea product range – online, in remote locations and in city centers. We will introduce smaller store formats and offer a wide range of flexible and affordable services.”
Ikea is in the midst of a transformation where it’s shifting resources toward emerging markets and alternative shopping experiences such as e-commerce and city center stores to better cater to customers’ changing needs. The new expansion plans were laid out as Inter Ikea reported a 4.5 percent increase in retail sales in the 12 months through August, adjusted for currency impact, at the franchisees that operate its more than 400 stores across the world.
Total retail sales, which include sales of both products and services, rose to 38.8 billion euros (USD44.7 billion) from 38.3 billion euros a year earlier. In its last fiscal year, India and Latvia became new Ikea markets as the company opened 19 new stores around the world. In its fiscal year 2019, which runs through August, a total of 15 retail locations are planned. That includes a new store that was opened in Bahrain in September, Inter Ikea said.
Ikea’s stores, which can be found in more than 50 markets, welcomed 957 million visitors in the last fiscal year. The company now has online stores in 35 markets after its operations in Belgium, Romania and Malaysia introduced e-commerce. The company is also exploring selling its products on external online marketplaces and Loof said he hopes to introduce a collaboration with a digital shopping platform in the coming year. MDT/Bloomberg