Bay Area to get new Ikea store

Ikea is planning to splash 2.19 billion to expand its furniture empire in the United States in what will be the retailer’s biggest-ever investment in a single country.

Ingka Group, Ikea Retail’s Dutch holding company, said in a statement Thursday that it hoped to open eight large stores and nine smaller “plan and order points” in America over the next three years. The new outlets would create 2,000 jobs, it added.

Ikea plan and order points are aimed at customers who want to speak with a consultant on how to design their homes, as well as place orders.

The exact locations of the new US stores have not yet been decided, an Ingka spokesperson stated, though the company intends to build up its presence on the east and west coasts, and invest more in the south of the country.

Tolga Öncü, head of Ikea Retail, said the company saw “endless opportunities to grow” in the United States.

“More than ever before, we want to increase the density of our presence in the US, ramp up our fulfillment capacities, and make our range even more relevant to local customers’ needs and dreams,” he said.

The company already has 51 stores and two plan and order points in America. And new Ikea locations — not covered by the €2 billion investment — are set to open in San Francisco, California, and Arlington, Virginia, over the summer. The San Francisco store, on Market Street near Westfield Centre, will be in the chain’s urban “Livat” configuration, more of a mall-type experience than the standard big-box Ikea maze.

Ingka also said it planned to use part of its bumper investment to modernize its existing US Ikea stores to enable them to send out more parcels.

Founded in Sweden in 1943, Ikea is the world’s largest furniture retailer, with presence in 31 countries. Its stores today are operated as franchises, with Ingka Group by far the biggest franchisee, representing about 90% of Ikea’s sales globally.

Öncü told the Financial Times Thursday that he expected the United States to overtake Germany as Ikea’s biggest market in terms of sales in the next few years.

Ingka Group reported sales of €5.5 billion ($6 billion) in the United States in the last financial year, which ended in August 2022. It took €5.7 billion ($6.2 billion) in sales in Germany over the same period.

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