Ikea has announced plans to invest almost £27m in its UK stores, despite a 3% fall in like-for-like sales in the UK in the 12 months to August 31 2011.
Total UK sales at the company dropped 7% to £1.15bn, although its share of the UK home furnishings market rose from 6.1% to 6.3%. Profit figures will not be released until early next year.
Online sales were up by a quarter as a result of 800 more products being added to the Ikea website. More are to be made available this year, and a mobile phone platform is also in the offing. The retailer cut prices by 5% during the year and says that more cuts will be made in 2012.
UK country manager Martin Hansson conceded that trading had been tough over the period but added: “Looking ahead, we are confident that our commitment to price, quality and improving our services will enable us to strengthen our market position over the coming year.
“We also expect our newly-launched service initiatives to deliver a strong return on investment. In fact we are already seeing a 60% increase in take-up of our lower-priced delivery service to date.
“Over the next year, we will invest £26.6m to make more improvements to our in-store shopping environment. Plus we intend to make it even easier for customers to shop online by adding a further 1,500 more products, improving our delivery lead times, and introducing new functions such as the launch of mobile optimised sites and additional mobile apps.”
Ikea trades out of 18 stores in the UK, and next year celebrates 25 years here.