The famous Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has plans to sell its products on websites of third-party retailers. The surprising move follows after Ikea has been targeting more online customers. The home furnishing retailer didn’t comment on which platforms could be used for selling the Klippan sofa and Billy bookcase.
Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter IKEA Group, told Reuters the plan is to start testing selling via third-party retailers in 2018. Currently, IKEA only sells its products through their own website, although it was kind of late to the party. In 2015, it planned to significantly grow its ecommerce business. Later that year, the retailer further explained it wants to expand its ecommerce business into all markets where it’s active with physical stores.
Ikea products on Amazon? Alibaba?
With the competitive landscape changing, Ikea is ready for the next step: selling its products via third-party websites. Of course, major ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba are possible targets, but Loof didn’t want to tell which companies they had in mind; no contracts have yet been signed. “I leave unsaid on which platforms, but we will test and pilot, to see ‘what does this mean, what does digital shopping look like in the future and what do digital shopping centers mean?”, he explained.
Last year, online sales at Ikea Group (which owns most Ikea stores) increased by 30 percent to 1.4 billion euros. That’s huge, but still a small fraction of the company’s total sales, which grew 7 percent to 34.2 billion euros.