On Wednesday, the head of brand and strategy at Inter IKEA Group said on Wednesday that the world's biggest home furnishing retailer is going to begin selling its products on websites other than its own.
The move means IKEA's customers may soon be able to buy its flat-pack furniture and other home furnishings through the likes of Amazon. Technically, you can already buy from Ikea on Amazon, but starting in 2018, Ikea will begin testing an online shopping alternative where you can buy directly from the store instead of third-party sellers, who can knock up the prices. In an interview with Reuters, Chief Executive Torbjorn Loof says,
“On digital platforms, we only sell our products through our own website, and there we also see that the competitive landscape is changing. 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 future and what do digital shopping centres mean?'”
IKEA, known for its warehouse-like stores, has recently restructured to give its retail arm more freedom. The Swedish retailer has never sold its goods through another company and is also trying new smaller store formats and stepping up the integration of stores and online to adapt to new ways of shopping.
Hopes are that with IKEA Group focusing fully on retail, it will be better placed to defend its market-leading position and maintain growth as competition and consumer expectations evolve.
"There is a rapid change in the market where much of what we have learned and what we know of is changing radically," Loof said, adding that he expects IKEA to keep its leading position.
"We have one great advantage and that is that we design, produce and distribute our own unique range."
What this means for customers is that soon we won't have to face the dreaded weekend trip with our significant other and can buy straight from Amazon to our door.