Furniture retailer Ikea has announced that total annual sales in the UK have soared by 8% to £2.1bn for the year ended 31 August 2019.
The retail giant said it has continued to “outperform” the market in home furnishings, with an increase to 9% in the company’s UK market share, marking an increase from the previous year’s 8.4% figure.
The company gives credit to online sales and “digital capabilities” for this year’s strong performance, as online visitation reached 224 million. Online revenue reached a total growth of 27% in the last financial year.
These figures “reiterate that people now expect a seamless and inspiring experience, both online and in-store”, say the company. Their annual report spoke of future investments in digital shopping, with particular focus on developing mobile apps that can increase accessibility for UK customers.
The Swedish company says it is also “leading the way” on sustainability and environmentally friendly retailing. This year saw the opening of its first sustainable store in Greenwich, with technologies including solar power, LED lighting, rainwater harvesting and geothermal heating.
The store’s sustainability has since been awarded outstanding by BREEAM, the global body of
sustainability assessment methods, and marks the beginning of future sustainable sites for the company.
Meanwhile, sustainable goods have also “reigned on the shelves”, reflecting a “spike on customers’ appetite for products that save energy and water and cut down on waste”. Reusable water bottles saw a sales increase of 55%, and the sales of lunchboxes for preserving leftovers hiked to 127%.
Peter Jelkeby, the country retail manager for UK Ikea, said : “Despite a challenging retail environment, IKEA has seen another year of strong sales growth as we continue the transformation of our business.
“We know that people’s shopping habits and expectations are changing, so continued investments in our shopping experience, our people and in adapting our operations to ensure we become a fully circular business by 2030, will be vital to secure the success of our business in the future.”
He added: “The transformation of IKEA will bring a greater focus on affordability, convenience and being people and planet positive to create a new IKEA by 2021.”