Ikea has been present in Australia for over 40 years, however, the multinational homewares and home furnishings retailer is ramping up its local offering. Ikea Pty Ltd (“Ikea Australia”) is on track to open three new distribution centres by the end of 2018, which the retailer hopes will boost e-commerce sales. Also introduced in 2018 is Ikea Australia’s pilot take-back scheme, offering customers the opportunity to return unwanted furniture items.
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Rising house prices in Australia results in fewer people being able to afford their own homes. Younger consumers are more likely to rent and live in apartments rather than houses. While houses are still the most popular dwelling type, detached houses are declining in popularity as semi-detached and townhouses become more prevalent.
Ikea Australia has invested in three new distribution facilities in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. This investment, coupled with the expansion of Click & Collect points across the country, is expected to ramp up online ordering for the retailer within Australia over the next few years.
The National Broadband Network is still under-utilised in Australia as many households remain unconnected, or if they are connected, have opted for slower internet packages. This is likely to change in the future as the NBN Co has reduced wholesale pricing on high-speed packages to entice consumers to upgrade.
Ikea’s first foray into the smart home arena will be through its smart lighting range which is due to launch in late 2018 in Australia (already available in other markets). Customers will be able to control Ikea’s smart lighting products through voice using Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit.
Ikea Australia launched a pilot take-back scheme in 2018 aimed at reducing the number of furniture items sent to landfill. The pilot programme will run for six months and is part of the company’s wider sustainability strategy, which involves Ikea aiming to become 100% circular by 2030.