Could Ikea's Billy bookcases soon be sold through Amazon?
Ikea said it will start selling furniture through third-party websites to find new ways to reach customers in the digital age, though "no decisions are made regarding what platforms/markets will be in the pilot." Amazon offers third-party merchants a platform to sell their goods, although it's unclear if the two companies might work together.
Kaisa Lyckdal, spokeswoman for the Swedish home furnishing giant, says the aim is to start a trial in 2018 and that Ikea is "curious" as to how to broaden its sales base.
Lyckdal said Tuesday in an email to The Associated Press that Ikea would "develop it over the coming years." The company is also working on new types of stores, including pop-up locations and smaller shops and pick-up locations in city centers, according to The Financial Times. The changes are coming amid pressure on traditional brick-and-mortar stores, which are losing sales to online rivals.
"Traditionally the whole Ikea value chain has been designed to deliver to stores. That is changing and it is challenging a number of ways of doing business. We are fast learners and we are moving," Torbjörn Lööf, chief executive of Inter IKEA, told the FT.
However, Ikea said its main focus "remains of course with our existing sales channels," including its own web sites and stores.
The group says 2.3 billion people globally visited Ikea sites in 2017. Headquartered fiscally in Leiden, the Netherlands, Ikea has more than 400 stores in 49 countries.