Ikea is mulling the launch of an online marketplace to sell furniture from third-party competitors as part of its transformation plan.

The world’s largest furniture retailer is in the midst of drawing up plans to sell its own products on marketplace websites such as Alibaba and Amazon, according to the Financial Times.

But Ikea chief executive Torbjon Loof hinted that the business was eyeing the creation of its own “industry-wide” furniture sales platform, following the success of etailers like fashion marketplace Zalando.  

Loof told the FT: “What are the opportunities between the dominating, big, global platforms, and the company website? I think there are tons of opportunities. Like Zalando: they’re a kind of platform for fashion and clothes. I think it’s a very interesting area to explore.” 

He added that “there had to be something” between Ikea’s own website and more general websites like Amazon – effectively creating a one-stop-shop for furniture and homewares.

“We are always exploring,” Loof said. “You could say within the digital arena we’re exploring the third-party platform, Ikea engaging on other platforms, the platform business in the industry as a whole, how can we make our own ikea.com much stronger and better.”

Loof said he would like to see Ikea develop the marketplace platform within the next five to ten years.

Ikea is ploughing investment into its smaller store formats and its ecommerce platform as part of a wide-ranging transformation programme.

The Swedish giant’s pre-tax profits fell 36% to €2.1bn (£1.8bn) in the financial year to August 31, 2018.