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IKEA Considering Launch of Online Furniture Marketplace

IKEA planning studio 725 x 500

The Financial Times has reported that IKEA is looking to launch an online marketplace to sell its own furniture as well as those of its competitors.  

Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter Ikea, told the publication: "What are the opportunities between the dominating, big, global platforms, and the company website? I think there are tons of opportunities. Like Zalando: they’re a kind of platform for fashion and clothes. I think it’s a very interesting area to explore.”

Mr Loof said that IKEA would want to be involved in the development of the platform, stating, “You like to control your own destiny so in that sense if you have the size and the possibility that’s true [that Ikea would like to create it]. I think in the next five, 10 years, we will see what we now call the platform developing,”.

He has previously discussed IKEA's plan to sell on third-party websites and revealed that a test would be starting 'soon'.  When asked if it would be on Amazon's platform, he told the publication, “I don’t think it’s Amazon.” He added, “We wanted to see and test and learn — to say: could this be something for us? For a specific part of the range or in specific types of markets?” 

“We are always exploring. You could say within the digital arena we’re exploring the third-party platform, IKEA engaging on other platforms, the platform business in the industry as a whole, how can we make our own much stronger and better,”. 

Mr Loof added, “It is also about how you connect. If you take home furnishings, for instance — how you connect communities, how you connect knowledge, how you connect the home. It’s not only furniture, it’s paintings, it’s the do-it-yourself part. There are many different constellations that can and will evolve over the years to come.”

The potential launch of an online platform is just one part several plans IKEA has to transform its business model.  Recently, the company began opening kitchen and bedroom 'Planning Studio' stores and, in the last few years, trialled Order & Collection Points in city centres.      

Recently, IKEA announced plans to commence a furniture leasing pilot in Switzerland and, earlier this month, opened the doors to its most sustainable store to date, located in Greenwich.

A spare parts service for products which are no longer stocked is also under consideration.

The company is focused on developing a new, circular model which will enable it to reduce its environmental impact.  

In November 2018 IKEA announced that in the coming two years it is planning to create a further 11,500 jobs across the world, but would be making around 7,500 redundancies as it seeks to simplify to enable a 'greater focus on adding value to customers'.  Later that month, it was revealed that IKEA's profits had declined by more than a third amid store and ecommerce investments. 

Source : Insight DIY Team

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14 February 2019

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