IKEA posted total sales of £1.72 billion in the UK for the financial year ending August 31 – the fifth consecutive year of sales growth and an increase of 8.9% on the previous year.
The Swedish homewares retailer’s market share grew by 0.5% to 8.2% in the period, as it progresses towards its goal of doubling the size of the UK business by 2020.
The company opened its first new IKEA store in the UK for seven years in July in Reading, and plans to open a store in Sheffield in 2017.
It also trialled a new format in the UK, with the opening of four ‘Order and Collection’ Points at Aberdeen in May, Birmingham Central and Westfield Stratford City in August, and Norwich in November.
IKEA continued to see strong growth in online sales, with a 31% sales uplift, following double digit growth in the previous year. Its online business now makes up 13.4% of overall sales.
Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK country retail manager, said: “As part of our ambition to become a truly multichannel retailer, we launched a new website to provide an improved online experience for our customers as well as further connecting the online and offline channels.
“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.”
Meanwhile, IKEA has invested £4 million in rebuilding the cooking and eating departments in all UK stores. This contributed to growth in cooking sales of 17.9%.
Investment in bedrooms, and the launch of UK-standard bed, mattress and linen sizes in 2015, saw mattress sales increase by 18.8% – the biggest growth product in Ikea’s financial year.
In addition to store and product investments, IKEA invested in staff. It created 1,700 jobs, taking the total number of employees in the UK to 10,000.
In April, IKEA started to pay the real Living Wage to all co-workers and became an accredited Living Wage Foundation employer and a principal partner. Overall, this represented an £11.5 million investment.
Gillian said: “We are incredibly proud of the investment we are making in the Living Wage, particularly as our co-workers have told us about the positive impact it will have on their lives.
“It also 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.”