By The Nation
Ikea is also preparing to launch an e-commerce operation in Thailand to meet the needs of a new generation of shoppers, moving forward to redefine its retail business, together with making Ikea a popular destination as a place of happiness for all.
Ikea also announced a five-year plan to expand into new markets in the Philippines, Vietnam and Mexico.
According to the annual report, as technology and urbanisation change customers’ expectations and the way people shop, the business has to transform to meet the new generation of shoppers who spend a lot of time on their mobile devices and look for emotional connections with brands they love.
Customers’ interest in home furnishing has grown stronger, focusing largely on beautiful designs and functionality.
In 2018, the seven Ikea stores in the region received excellent feedback, attracting 85 million visits, a 20 per cent increase from 2017.
The total turnover topped S$1 billion (Bt25.2 billion) for the first time, while the total number of Ikea Family members reached 1.71 million.
Ikea’s success in the past year is the result of its continuous efforts to offer new experiences and inspiration to customers, for example:
Opening the first Ikea store to be fully integrated into a shopping centre in Thailand.
Expanding e-commerce operations throughout all of Malaysia. The e-commerce business in Malaysia accounted for 3.8 per cent of total sales in less than three months.
Improving customers’ experience through its Customer Contact Centre.
Ikea Southeast Asia’s operational plans for the next five years are as follows:
Launch an e-commerce business in Thailand this year;
Begin the construction of the first Ikea store in the Philippines in the heart of Manila, occupying around 65,000 square metres – the world’s largest Ikea;
Ambitious plan to enter the Philippines, Vietnam and Mexico to bring its offerings to six countries with a combined population of 480 million (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Mexico).
On the sustainable development front, last year, Ikea introduced solar cooling at Ikea Alexandra in Singapore which reduced its energy consumption by 24 per cent, and they also took the important step to eliminate single-use plastics from Ikea stores by 2020.