IKEA aims to start reopening stores in Europe in May

IKEA store owner Ingka Group, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, aims to start reopening shops in Europe in May after closures and sliding demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic slashed group sales by 60%, its chief executive said. Most of Ingka’s stores in main market Europe and all in North America are closed since March while in Asia almost all are open. Ingka CEO Jesper Brodin estimates that the closure period for each store will be up to eight weeks. “This is the period we need to persevere and, so to speak, survive,” he said. “The sales drop in the period we’re in is about 60%.”

He said online sales during the COVID-19 crisis were twice as high as a year ago, cushioning the overall revenue dive and accounting currently for roughly half the group total.

“Some countries are close to ten times the e-commerce they had before the outbreak. The most extreme is Denmark where sales have now recovered to levels seen before stores closed.”