Ikea UK has unveiled surging full-year sales as it presses ahead with plans to double the size of its British business by 2020.
The Swedish furniture giant said total sales jumped 8.9% year-on-year to £1.72bn in the 12 months to August 31.
Ikea, which currently has 19 stores in the UK, said its market share grew 0.5 percentage points to 8.2% during the year.
It declined to give details of profits or like-for-like sales, which will be revealed when it files its full accounts at Companies House.
The retailer said the growth in both sales and market share was driven by investment in existing stores and its staff.
Ikea has also focused on improving its multichannel shopping experience and making Ikea more accessible to customers.
During the period, the retailer opened a new store in Reading – its first new big box store in the UK for seven years – and is also piloting four smaller-format stores, known as order and collection points.
Ikea UK country retail manager Gillian Drakeford said: “Achieving our fifth consecutive year of growth demonstrates the success of our values-driven business, commitment to our people, the planet and our customers.”
Ikea reported a 31% uplift in online sales during the year and launched a new website, which it said offered shoppers an “improved online experience.”
Its ecommerce platform now accounts for 13.4% of overall sales.
Drakeford said: “Our stores and website have a different, although integrated, role to play.
“Our customers are increasingly using both channels to complete their purchasing journey so we’ve focused on ensuring this experience is as seamless as possible.
“Investing in our people is crucial to motivating and retaining our co-workers, as well as attracting new talent”
Gillian Drakeford, Ikea
“In addition to this, we have seen a 3% increase in people coming to our stores over the past year,” Drakeford added.
Following this July’s big box opening in Reading, Drakeford told Retail Week that its next new superstore in Sheffield is poised to open in the summer of 2017.
Further large stores are planned “soon after” in Exeter and Greenwich.
Ikea will also be reviewing the progress of its order and collection points in the coming months, but declined to give any indication as how they were currently performing.
Wages and Brexit
Earlier this year, Ikea, which employs 10,000 in the UK, pledged to play the ‘real living wage’ to all employees, who it calls co-workers, at a cost of £11.5m.
Drakeford said: “It makes good business sense – we know that happy co-workers will bring happy customers.
“Investing in our people is crucial to motivating and retaining our co-workers, as well as attracting new talent.”
Ikea, which is an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer, made the pledge despite pressures arising from the Brexit vote in June.
On the shock referendum result, Drakeford added: “We support the decisions that the UK has made. The UK is the fourth biggest market for Ikea globally, but of course there’s an uncertainty.
“Currency is one of the factors we take into account, but we work very hard on investing in pricing and are always looking for new materials.”