Ikea is to test out the sale of its furniture through online retailers. The company is also looking at new types of stores in city centres, such as pop-ups, the emphasis being on a move to a smaller format than its sprawling edge-of-town outlets.
No news as to which websites will be part of the trial, although Amazon and Alibaba are thought to be in the mix. Torbjörn Lööf, Chief Executive at Inter Ikea, told the Financial Times it was "the biggest development in how consumers meet Ikea since the concept was founded. We want to learn ... we want to find out how we could keep our identity on a third party platform."
Ikea picks up the pace
Ikea was slow to move online, but has been attempting to make up lost ground in recent years. “Traditionally the whole Ikea value chain has been designed to deliver to stores. That is changing and it is challenging a number of ways of doing business. We are fast learners and we are moving,” says Lööf.
The retailer also recently announced a deal to buy TaskRabbit, an app that matches consumers with people who can assemble furniture as well as do other chores such as cleaning or painting, and launched an app that allows users of Apple devices to visualise placing Ikea furniture into their homes using augmented reality.