Today, home furnishings retailer IKEA announces total sales of £1.814 billion in the UK for the financial year ending 31 August 2017 (FY17), an uplift of +5.8% compared to the previous year. This is IKEA UK’s sixth consecutive year of growth, with a +57% increase in sales over the last six years.
The retailer continues to outperform the market in home-furnishings, increasing its market share by +0.5%, bringing the retailer one step closer to the ambition of increasing overall market share to 15% by 2027.
Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK Country Retail Manager, said: “As we celebrate our 30th anniversary this year, we remain committed to the UK and are proud to have achieved another successful year of growth. This is testament to the talent of our co-workers and our ambition to inspire customers with the best possible experience.”
This performance is outlined in IKEA UK’s Annual Summary, which this year provides a holistic overview of its contribution to the UK economy in FY17 such as job creation and its role in society. Key highlights from the report are outlined below:
Accessibility and customer experience
A focus on improving accessibility and the service proposition has contributed to the retailer’s sixth year of growth. Cementing its commitment to the UK, with recent store openings in Reading and Sheffield, IKEA plans to open two more stores in Exeter and Greenwich during the coming year. Improving the online shopping experience with a new website has also paid off (sales +10%), with online now accounting for 15% of total sales.
Sales and visitation continues to grow in both stores and online. In total, 57.2 million people visited IKEA stores in FY17, resulting in a sales uplift of +5.7%.
Gillian adds: “We have ambitious expansion plans for the UK and are committed to making IKEA more accessible to the many people. As well as opening new stores, we are also enhancing existing stores. Half way through the year we refurbished all living room departments in preparation for this year’s ‘Make Room for Life’ campaign and we are already seeing a great response to this. We also rebuilt many of our self-serve areas by creating wider aisles so that it’s a safer and more pleasant shopping experience for customers.
“We have also expanded our service proposition, providing our customers with more choice and convenience. In addition to our global acquisition of TaskRabbit, we also launched Click and Collect in all Order and Collection points.”
Investment in people
As well as its focus on accessibility and convenience, IKEA UK made significant investments in the development of its co-workers, totalling £4 million throughout FY17.
The retailer created 1,000 new jobs in FY17, bringing its total number of co-workers to 10,900. By the end of next year, IKEA UK will employ a further 850 people when it opens stores in Exeter and Greenwich.
As an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer and a Principal Partner of the Living Wage Foundation, IKEA also committed to a second year of paying all co-workers a meaningful wage at the current rate.
Gillian said: “As a values-driven organisation, we’re dedicated to making a positive contribution to our co-workers’ lives. As such, we were the first IKEA market to implement the global IKEA Employment Standards, aimed at improving co-workers work/life balance. This includes the introduction of one weekend off in four for all co-workers, even if they are part-time, and providing rotas at least four weeks in advance. By putting people at the heart of our business, we can create an even better experiences for our customers."
Strengthening its role in society
IKEA is determined to have a positive impact on the UK and its People and Planet Positive strategy outlines how they will achieve this. Sustainability achievements include sending zero waste to landfill for a second year in a row, focusing on renewable energy by generating the equivalent of 41% of the energy it used, and the launch of its ‘Food is Precious’ initiative which resulted in a 32% reduction in food waste across all stores.
The retailer also continued its local community efforts as it celebrated 10 years of partnering with the Woodland Trust (1.4 million trees planted to date) and implemented a new partnership with Breaking Barriers, supporting refugees in the UK to gain meaningful employment.
IKEA UK is on a journey to become a truly circular retailer and is already making strides in this area with its furniture take-back scheme (12,960 sofas, beds and appliances recovered for reuse or recycling to date). It’s also piloting new initiatives such as the textile take-back scheme in its Cardiff Store, which resulted in the collection of 1.1 tonnes of textile products.
Gillian concludes: “At a time of economic uncertainty, we have continued to outperform the market and build on our ambition to increase our market share to 15%. We’re thrilled to have achieved these results while investing in our people, contributing positively to the UK society and making IKEA more accessible. Looking ahead, we remain committed to our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people."