IKEA posts full year sales fall
Home furnishings retailer IKEA saw its UK total sales decline by 10.2% to £1.90 billion in the year to 31 August after stores were closed for up to three months of the period due to lockdown.
However, online sales climbed by 31% to account for 27% of total sales.
The Covid-19 pandemic led the retailer to accelerate its transformation plans. Intiatives introduced in the year included click and collect across all stores, virtual kitchen planning appointments, and the use of stores as local fulfilment and distribution centres to increase capacity and reduce delivery lead times.
Peter Jelkeby, country retail manager of IKEA UK and Ireland, said: “Overall, I am proud of our performance and the way in which we’ve continued to develop and adapt our business, to better meet our customers’ needs.
“In a year when life at home was never more important, we accelerated our transformation plans by fast-tracking the rollout of click and collect across all stores and introducing ‘click and Deliver’ to DPD drop-off points. Changes made over the past year will be vital for securing the future success of our business, as we continue our ambition to create a better everyday life for the many people and build back better by becoming truly people and planet positive.”
Despite the period of store closures, IKEA ocontinued to pay staff 100% of their salaries and launched a ‘Covid-19 Emergency Fund’ for workers experiencing hardship as a result of the pandemic through non-repayable grants.
Looking ahead, the retailer said it will continue its pledge to help the environment with initiatives such as the removal of all non-rechargeable alkaline batteries from its home furnishing range, and its ‘Buy Back’ service where IKEA stores offer to buy back unwanted IKEA furniture from customers and resell it as secondhand.
Jelkeby added: “We have kick-started 2021 more committed than ever to our transformation plans and continue our journey towards a more affordable, convenient and people and planet positive IKEA. Having learnt an incredible amount about our customers, our abilities and our adaptability, we will work hard to take the customer experience to a new level and have plans to invest where it matters most.”
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