By Geoff Percival
Ikea has confirmed it has no plans to open further shops in Ireland after seeing online orders drive Irish sales in its latest financial year.
The Swedish furniture retailer’s Irish operations generated sales of €181.5m in the 12 months to the end of August, a 7.4% increase on the previous year.
A key driver of that growth was online sales, with €17.3m worth of goods being bought via Ikea’s Irish website and over 17m visits being made to the site.
Ikea operates two stores on the island of Ireland — in Belfast and Ballymun, in north Dublin. It also has an order-and-collection outlet in Carrickmines, in south Dublin, and last year launched its online sales channel.
“We have no plans for additional stores in Ireland at present. We think the multi-channel approach is the best way to meet customer needs,” said Ikea Ireland boss Claudia Marshall.
“The store’s ability to inspire consumers, in addition to expert advice from our co-workers, was a key factor in our success, together with the launch of our shop online channel,” she said.
There had been intense speculation that Ikea may open a third Irish store in Carrigtwohill, in east Cork, but that is no longer being considered.
Ms Marshall said the ‘shop online’ programme has been “a great success” since its launch 10 months ago, “giving customers all over Ireland the opportunity to shop with Ikea whenever and wherever they want.”
“We look forward to seeing this growth continue into 2019 and beyond,” she said.
Ikea said its share of Ireland’s home furnishings market grew by 0.3 percentage points to 8.7%.
The hot summer also boosted is sales of outdoor furniture.