Affordability, convenience and being people and planet positive are central to IKEA’s transformation
The transformation of IKEA will bring a greater focus on affordability, convenience and being people and planet positive to create a new IKEA by 2021, says Peter Jelkeby, Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA UK and Ireland.
Returning to IKEA in the midst of the biggest transformation in its history is both a pleasure and a privilege for me. In my first few months as Country Retail Manager, I’ve had the opportunity to visit almost all our 22 UK stores and meet many of our co-workers. What has struck me is the dedication and enthusiasm of everyone in this unique business and their commitment to securing the future of IKEA in the face of huge upheaval in the retail industry and significant internal change.
The transformation of IKEA will bring a greater focus on affordability, convenience and being people and planet positive to create a new IKEA by 2021. During the first year of our transformation, we made our multi-channel offering more flexible and accessible as we know that customers’ expectations and how they shop with us is changing. We opened a second kitchen and bedroom Planning Studio in Bromley and updated our digital capabilities to make it easier for customers to access our product range online. Our 27% increase in online sales since last year is evidence that investments in the digital experience, with a particular focus on mobile, is paying off.
A real highlight was the opening of IKEA Greenwich – our most sustainable store to date – in February. Greenwich sets new standards for how retailers can adapt and evolve to not only meet the needs of customers but push the boundaries of energy efficiency, engagement with local communities and retail innovation.
But this is only the beginning. The world around us is changing at a pace we’ve never experienced before and our definition of success is evolving too. We are moving from a linear model to a fully circular business by 2030 - in which we give back more than we take from the planet and its people - I am excited to also now take on the role of Chief Sustainability Officer to drive this agenda forward within IKEA UK.
I am confident that despite the uncertainty of the retail environment our unique formula of home furnishing expertise, in-depth knowledge of life at home and commitment to affordability, alongside our inspiring community of co-workers, will see us exceed customer expectations and support more people to live a better everyday life, within the limits of the planet.
Read IKEA's annual summary here