Ikea has ‘strong growth agenda’

The head of the Irish wing of Swedish furniture giant, Ikea, remained silent on its plans for a second store in Cork, but said that the firm has a “very strong growth agenda in Ireland”. It is enjoying a 10% rise in annual sales.

Ikea has ‘strong growth agenda’

The head of the Irish wing of Swedish furniture giant, Ikea, remained silent on its plans for a second store in Cork, but said that the firm has a “very strong growth agenda in Ireland”. It is enjoying a 10% rise in annual sales.

Claudia Marshall was speaking as Ikea Ireland reported €167.1m in sales this year, a 10% increase on 2016. The firm said its store in Ballymun and its order-and-collection point in Carrickmines received four million visits.

Ms Marshall said the Ballymun store is performing strongly against its global counterparts, with the home decoration department ranked at number two in the Ikea Group, based on sales this year, and the lighting department ranked at number three.

Well-placed sources have insisted Carrigtwohill, in east Cork, will be announced as Ikea Ireland’s newest location, but Ms Marshall said the firm had nothing to confirm, and only said that it was committed to growth in the country.

“We are always looking at opportunities in Ireland and we have a very strong growth agenda here. We are very happy to see the excitement of people in Ireland towards Ikea. There has been a very positive response to the new online store. We are looking forward to seeing this digital part of our business grow over the coming years,” she said.

Cork has made a strong pitch to Ikea as a viable destination for a new store, with business, political, and local government figures actively promoting the region.

Local business groups across the county have stated the case for their various towns, with Mitchelstown, Charleville, Mallow, Fermoy, Ballincollig, and Little Island all mentioned as possible locations, before Carrigtwohill won the day.

Ikea held talks with Cork County Council at least twice, including meeting the council’s chief executive, Tim Lucey.

In September, 2016, it opened an order-and-collection point in Carrickmines, adding to its store in Ballymun, which opened in 2009. Before that, it opened a store in east Belfast.

The company now employs more than 700 in the Republic, having added 42 employees this year.

In May this year, Ikea announced it would create 1,300 new jobs in the UK, opening new stores in Sheffield, in northern England, in Exeter, in the south-west, and in Greenwich, in London, in 2018.

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