Ikea plans to expand to a dozen new international markets

The company will in the coming years open stores in Chile Colombia and Peru through a new Ikea franchisee called Falabella

Ikea recently opened its first locations in India and Latvia, and has plans to being selling in more than 10 new countries in the new financial year, including Mexico, Luxembourg, Chile, Columbia and Peru.

Inter Ikea, which owns the Ikea brand and concept, announced its expansion plans as it revealed that sales at its franchise-holder stores had risen by 4.5 per cent in the year to the...

Total store turnover, comprising sales of both products and services, rose 1.3 per cent to €38.8 billion (US$44.5 billion) from €38.3 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Ikea said it was taking several measures to avoid such incidents, but refuted media reports of local authorities collecting samples of cakes or issuing fines.

"Bengaluru is truly cosmopolitan with many people moving in to find new opportunities".

Barbara Martin Coppola, chief technology officer at IKEA Group, the owner of most IKEA stores, said tests underway ranged from connecting staff with customers via video to artificial intelligence tools to help people furnish their homes. The largest franchisee is IKEA Group, with 367 stores. Its economic development agency invited Ikea scouts to visit the city, but the response was reported to be lukewarm.

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Ikea unveiled a strategy shift a year ago towards opening urban showrooms. "We know 50% of people do not have a vehicle today which makes the accessibility of some of our units not extremely easy". The company's fiscal year runs from September to August. But Quiñones, who started working part-time for Ikea in 1997 when he was a student, insisted the new focus on small high street stores did not mean the Ikea model was broken.

Ikea's stores, which can be found in more than 50 markets, welcomed 957 million visitors in the last fiscal year. 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.

Talking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Peter Betzel, CEO, IKEA India, said, "Bengaluru is a very special city for us as we have active participation from our total value chain - IKEA Foundation, IKEA suppliers, IKEA social entrepreneurs and now IKEA retail". Now, we realise that India presents a much bigger opportunity for which ₹10,500 crore is inadequate.

The retailer will need at least 1 million cubic meters of goods in South America to break even, Loof said.

"Ikea's transformation means franchisees like Falabella have a menu of options to choose from to jump start their expansion, including physical store formats and digital services".

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