Ingka Group has announced strong IKEA retail sales of EUR 35.2 billion for the financial year 2020 (EUR 36.7 billion FY19), despite the economic and public health challenges posed by COVID-19. The company continues to transform its business to become more affordable, accessible and sustainable as people’s dreams and needs in life at home shift.
2020 will be remembered as a challenging year that has impacted the way people live and socialise as well as how businesses operate. For many weeks during the year, Ingka Group had to close 75% of the IKEA stores it operates across the world due to lockdowns. This is when the company also announced a series of wide-ranging commitments to help and protect the health and livelihoods of those affected by the pandemic. It included a EUR 26 million emergency relief of in-kind donations to support communities as well as providing support to IKEA co-workers by securing income stability, extending parental leave, and offering flexible work arrangements. In addition, the company has decided to return the government stimulus support it received for co-worker’s wages at the beginning of the pandemic, as the business recovered faster than expected.
Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group, said, “Our strong performance over this unique time shows the resilience of our business and the impressive leadership among colleagues across IKEA. During the last six months, we managed to quickly adapt to meet the new needs of our customers, and even if our values have been put to the test it’s clear that our purpose is what unites us. We are determined to create a better everyday life for the many people in a time when a home has never been more important.”
Peter Betzel, CEO and CSO, IKEA India, stated, “It has been a significant year for IKEA India. This time has reinforced our long-term commitment to India, we accelerated plans to meet customers in the new reality, supported our co-workers and customers during the crisis, took care of vulnerable communities, stayed agile and flexible. New services like Click & Collect, remote planning and home furnishing consultancy was launched in Hyderabad. We have been lowering our prices for many articles to become even more affordable for our consumers. During the year, 2 million+ customers visited our Hyderabad store and 25 million+ people visited us online. As more people have been forced to stay home, the interest in home furnishing has increased and online shopping grew significantly. Our emergency community support in India during Covid19 included providing 4million meals, 20,000 products and 1.1million Face masks/PPE with UNICEF.”
“We look forward to a strong and positive FY 2021 with our new IKEA store and also smaller formats coming up in Mumbai and continue establishing a strong omnichannel presence in our markets. 2021 is also the Leap year of sustainability for IKEA and we will continue to enable and inspire more people to live a more sustainable life at home,” he further added.
Ingka Group has accelerated its retail transformation over the year, re-purposing its stores to fulfillment units, as well as implementing click & collect services, offering pick-up and drive-thru options and in some cases even turning store car parks into COVID-19 testing facilities for the community. Over the year, the company has opened 26 new IKEA locations in cities such as Shanghai, Seoul, Moscow and Tokyo, and developed a more seamless IKEA experience with new digital solutions. It has also invested in real estates such as Kings Mall in London and Rue de Rivoli in Paris while acquiring Geomagical Labs, a 3D and visual AI developer for interactive home furnishing solutions.
As life at home has become more important than ever for people, behaviors and needs have shifted, which has led to a repurposing of the home in many ways. People need their home not only to accommodate their basic needs but also to act as a workplace, a school, or even a gym. The interest to improve the home is growing which has led to strong visitation to both the stores, 706 million (839 million FY19), and IKEA.com, 3.6 billion (2.6 billion FY19). Over the year, online sales grew by 60% (48% FY19), amounting to about 18% of total sales (11% FY19).
Jesper Brodin said, “This year has clearly demonstrated that purpose and profit go hand in hand. This is the most important decade of humankind and the coming years will be bumpy, but we have it in our own hands to design and invest in a future that leaves no one behind, that is clean, green and more just. Our target is clear, we want to be a part of solving the climate crisis and recover and reset for generations to come.”
Recently, the company accelerated its efforts in sustainability with an investment of EUR 600 million in order to reach the IKEA ambition to become people and planet positive by 2030, aimed to speed up the transition to a net zero carbon economy. This brings its investments into sustainability to a total of EUR 3.8 billion.