IKEA gets sales boost amid lockdowns

IKEA could be a lockdown winner.

Shoppers stuck at home are starting to spend more on beds, sofas and the like.

And the world's biggest furniture retailer believes that trend is here to stay.

The Swedish giant is shifting focus from its traditional out-of-town superstores towards e-commerce and smaller inner-city outlets.

Jon Abrahamsson Ring, who became the CEO of brand owner and franchisor Inter IKEA in March, said some 50 new stores would open in the current year.

That would be up from around 30 the year before.

Most of these new stores are in inner cities.

Though sales did fall in the first half, he says the full year looks better than he had feared at the height of the crisis.

And he’s now predicting return to growth in the current year.

Abrahamsson Ring said demand for IKEA's lowest-priced ranges had shown particular growth.

They made up 60% of sales over May to August, against around 45% usually.

Meanwhile, e-commerce jumped by almost a half, and now accounts for 15% of the firm’s total retail sales.

Ingka Group, IKEA’s main franchisee, backed that up.

It said sales in stores dipped slightly, but online soared.

CEO Jesper Brodin said office and cooking products were among the initial winners this year, but demand is now up right across the range.