Ingka Group, the largest Ikea retailer, is making a big investment in brick-and-mortar.
The company said it will invest more than 3 billion euros (about $3.15 billion at press time) in new and existing stores by the end of next year to become more accessible for customers. The investments will cover all 32 of Ingka’s markets, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. (Ingka operates 392 Ikea stores.)
The company will focus its expansion investments in new physical stores – such as the one opening in Nice, France, on May 11 – as well as in revamping existing ones for a more immersive Ikea experience and to further support the increasing demand for home deliveries. Recently the Ikea store in Kuopio, Finland, was rebuilt to fulfill customer online orders, allowing the customers to get their orders in half the time and with 40% reduced cost of delivery for pick-up parcels.
Approximately a third of the investment — 1.2 billion euros — will be allocated to Ikea’s London market, including to its Oxford Street store, new services and a new distribution center in Dartford, which will allow the company to make home deliveries within 24 hours.
“More than ever before, we want to optimize our network of stores in order to cater for an inspiring shopping experience – no matter how or where our customers choose to engage with us,” said Tolga Öncü, retail operations manager, Ingka Group. “With this investment we aim to secure the long-term viability of our business by making Ikea more accessible, more affordable and more sustainable.”
Ikea also announced that the first city stores in Stockholm and Toronto will open soon. The downtown locations will offer more than 2,000 products for immediate takeaway. Larger furniture items available for home delivery.
The retailer’s ambitious expansion plan for Canada also includes the opening of a new distribution center in Quebec and a “planning studio” store in Montreal.
Our stores remain one of our biggest strengths and we will continue to transform them to meet the needs of our customers for generations to come,” said Öncü. “We see many of our stores playing a dual role, giving our customers the best of both physical and online retailing and the investment will support not only an inspiring in-store Ikea experience but also a faster and more affordable shipping of online orders directly from our stores.”
During the past three fiscal years, Ingka Group invested more than 2.1 billion euros in existing and new stores across its markets.