Ikea Sets Sights on Cities

Multifunctional distribution centers that supply stores and ship direct are in the works
December 9, 2016Allison Zisko

       NEW YORK—Ikea plans to locate more of its stores near cities in response to growing urban populations around the world, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The Swedish retailer will also incorporate more of its stores into larger developments that also include hotels, homes and offices, the newspaper said.

“The recipe for success so far has been we build quite big stores out in the potato fields, whereas we see by 2050 [that] 70 percent of the world’s populations will live in cities,” CEO Peter Agnefjäll said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “And there are not so many potato fields in the center of London, so obviously we need to do something to keep Ikea accessible.”

Agnefjäll said that mixed-used developments, such as the one Ikea is investing in Copenhagen that includes a retail store, a hotel, and residential and office space, will enable it to purchase an expensive piece of land but maintain its low prices.

He also said that its stores will be the center of its operations going forward, serving as a place where customers can pick up online orders. At the same time, Agnefjäll said he expects the number of products that are sent directly to customers to grow significantly in the next few years, and is thus creating multifunctional distribution centers that can supply stores as well as ship items directly to customers.

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.


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