Ikea reported sales up nearly a third following its focus on easing the path to cross-channel shopping.
Some 13.4 per cent of total sales of £1.72 billion took place over the internet in the year to August 31. While overall sales grew by 8.9 per cent, the fastest growth came online, with ecommerce sales 31 per cent higher than at the same time last year.
Online visits grew by 6 per cent, while visits to the store were 3 per cent ahead and store sales grew by 5.3 per cent.
The growth came as the home furnishings retailer invested in making its products accessible to customers whether they shop in store, online or shop across the channels by picking up online orders from the store. Over the year, Ikea UK focused on the multichannel shopping experience, trialling four new order and collection points in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Westfield at Stratford City and Norwich, while opening a new store in Reading.
“As part of our ambition to become a truly multichannel retailer, we launched a new website to provide an improved online experience for our customers as well as further connecting the online and offline channels,” said Ikea UK country retail manager Gillian Drakeford. “Our stores and website have a different, although integrated, role to play. Our customers are increasingly using both channels to complete their purchasing journey so we’ve focused on ensuring this experience is as seamless as possible.”
She added, “We want to make sure that Ikea is accessible, so that more people can create a better everyday life at home. In July, we opened our first new Ikea store in the UK for seven years in Reading and we look forward to opening in Sheffield in 2017.”
Ikea, which was founded in Sweden but now has its headquarters in the Netherlands aims to double its UK business by 2020. In the last year its UK market share grew to 8.2 per cent.
Drakeford said, “Achieving our fifth consecutive year of growth is something we’re extremely proud of and demonstrates the success of our values-driven business, commitment to our people, the planet and our customers.”
Fast growth was seen in the cooking department (+17.9 per cent) and in mattresses (+18.8 per cent). Over the year Ikea created 1,700 jobs, taking the UK total to 10,000 and introducing the living wage across its business.