Apparently, not even the cutesy indie dates in the world could spare IKEA from the increasing threat of e-commerce.
Last Tuesday, it was reported by the Tennessean that Ikea had abandoned its plans to open a superstore in Nashville. Apparently, the decision was because of the desire of Ikea to “align with current online shopping trends,” and not the economy of Nashville.
According to the Tennessean, Ikea also has some plans in the works for new stores to be located in Colorado, Georgia, Texas, and California. Ikea has been contacted to comment whether it has changed its plans for any of the said new developments, however, it has not answered back.
The Department of Commerce reported that sales of E-commerce improved by 16 percent last year. Online sales also take a larger chunk out of retail sales as a whole quarter after quarter. Currently, online sales comprise almost 10 percent of all retail. Projections place that number at 14 percent by 2021.
Last year, Ikea provided its in-store navigation app a “facelift. The 2017 investor report of the company describes the app as “a bridge between online and in-store experience.” The said app is intended to help the customers save time while going around the maze-like store. That, along with the acquisition of Ikea of TaskRabbit in 2017, shows that the company is aware of its occasional reputation as a frustrating time-suck.
During the previous year, Ikea reported that the company “continued to roll out e-commerce and grew our multichannel distribution network.” While Ikea had around 817 million visits to its stores, it received 2.1 billion visits to its website, IKEA.com. For those people who kept track, that is more than double the e-visits.
The stores of IKEA probably are not going anywhere. However, it seems that the company is starting to notice that some customers might prefer having a huge, heavy piece of furniture delivered to their front doors, instead of hunting it down in a cavernous warehouse.