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IKEA reports record post-Christmas trading

IKEA Home Furnishings

Ikea’s UK business boomed in the final four months of 2014 after the Swedish chain’s introduction of UK-size mattresses and beds sent sales of bedroom items soaring.

Like-for-like sales increased by 11% from 1 September to 31 December at Ikea stores open a year or more. Revenues at these stores rose 8.8% while online sales increased by a third.

The company said it had seen record post-Christmas trading. In the 12 days from 26 December, sales rose 4.5% and online sales increased 13.5%.

Ikea said sales of bedroom items were particularly strong following its decision to switch its range of mattresses and beds from European dimensions to slightly smaller UK sizes last April. Mattress sales increased by 41% in the final four months of 2014 and the company’s top-selling product was the Friheten corner sofabed, where sales more than doubled after the price was cut to £395 from £450.

Bathroom sales increased by 19% and kitchen and dining revenues rose 9%.

The company said it had cut prices across its range by £27m and was reaping the benefits in greater demand. The final four months of the calendar year are the first four months of Ikea’s financial year.

Gillian Drakeford, Ikea’s UK and Ireland manager, said: “We are delighted to have achieved another strong start to our year and are pleased to report an uplift in sales during the post-Christmas period, particularly after such a great performance last year. What is really encouraging is that this growth has come from our existing business, not relying on a bricks and mortar expansion programme.”

Ikea released figures for percentage sales increases but not for total revenues achieved. In the year that ended in August 2014, the company’s UK sales were £1.41bn.

Source : Sean Farrell - The Guardian

13 January 2015

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