Source: N1 | Monday, 16.10.2017.| 10:21
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IKEA testing the market – Sale of furniture through Amazon and Alibaba?

(Photo: vipman/shutterstock.com)
IKEA is exploring sales center formats for smaller cities. It is working on enabling as many customers as possible to order the desired products online and then pick them up at a delivery center.

The Swedish company will start selling its furniture through other online sales outlets as a test, which is part of their efforts to get closer to their customers.

The department store chain, known for its big sales centers on the outskirts or in the proximity of big cities is looking into sales center formats for small cities. Among other innovations is online ordering and picking up products at delivery centers.

These steps are the Swedish company's way of responding to a change in purchasing patterns, BBC reports.

IKEA has not said which online pages will be included in their test, but it is assumed that the biggest ones, Alibaba and Amazon, are the most likely candidates.

The Swedish chain sells the majority of its 9,500 products through its own web page, but the company stepped into the online sales market relatively late.

Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter IKEA, stated for the Financial Times that this was the biggest development in how consumers met IKEA since the concept had been founded.

– We want to learn, and know what it is for a company like IKEA to be there. We want to find out how we could keep our identity on a third-party platform – he said.

IKEA has 403 sales centers globally, and despite the pressures made by the online sales segment, plans to open another 22, in India and Latvia among other places.

The chain currently has sales centers in 49 countries, and, in the next five years, it plans to enter the market of South America as well.

Inter IKEA reported that the total sales in the business year until the end of August had grown by 5% to EUR 38.3 billion. The company announced last month that it was acquiring Task Rabbit, an app connecting customers with people who know how to assemble furniture and perform jobs such as cleaning or painting.
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