Interview: Making Ikea relevant for millennial shoppers

Ikea's Greenwich store

After an 11-year hiatus from the Swedish homewares retailer, Peter Jelkeby has returned to Ikea as its new UK and Ireland boss. He tells Retail Week his plan to make living affordable, sustainable and convenient for today’s shoppers.

After crossing the bleak North Circular road, walking into Ikea’s bright and airy Wembley head office is a welcome relief. Like so many homes up and down the country, the space is decked out in Ikea’s futon sofas, lamps and, inevitably, many a Billy bookcase.

The space is modern and minimalistic with a dedicated recycling area that plays host to tens of bins collecting different materials. The retailer clearly has sustainability high up on its agenda, not just in the products it sells but in its head office practices – something that new boss Peter Jelkeby says “wowed him” on his return to Ikea.

And as Jelkeby bounds out of a meeting room with a broad smile, it’s obvious he’s happy to be back with his former employer.

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