Ikea to Test Selling Via Third Party Online Retailers

Swedish furniture and homewares group Ikea says it has plans to sell its merchandise on websites of third party retailers, which may include Amazon and Chinese rival Alibaba.

It’s no secret that Ikea has been targeting more online customers, including unveiling its e-commerce platform in Australia late last year, with the early phases already in motion, such as click-and-collect in some parts of the country.

Now Ikea says it will ramp up its digital sales by selling its minimalistic furniture via online marketplaces and third party retailers, which may include Amazon and Alibaba.

Ikea Group’s chief executive, Torbjorn Loof, told Reuters that it plans to start selling via third-party retailers online platforms in 2018.

The company currently sells its merchandise through its own e-commerce platform, although it has been quite slow to join the online retail party. In 2015 Ikea announced that it wanted to aggressively grow its e-commerce business, in particular, those markets where it has active physical stores.

With the current competitive retail landscape, the company says it’s ready for the next step, employing third-party websites in order to increase online orders and capture more digital shoppers.

Loof hasn’t named names of any specific third party companies they will sell on and it’s understood that no contracts have been signed as yet.

“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 centres mean?” he explained.

Last year Ikea Group (which owns most Ikea stores) reported that online sales increased by 30 percent to 1.4 billion euros. While that’s significant, it is but a small fraction of the company’s total sales, which grew 7 percent to 34.2 billion euros.

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