According to a report in the FT, Ikea is about to start seling its wares via third party sites for the first time in its 74 year history. We’ve written about this before but it seems like an official launch is now imminent: Ikea could start selling on Amazon.
Apparently, they’re having problems with more people being unwilling to visit the out of town warehouses favoured by the retailer. So this move to online marketplaces is part of a change in strategy that also encompasses small city centre outlets and a new approach in digital strategy. It’s rumoured, but unconfirmed, that the two marketplaces under consideration are Amazon and Alibaba.
Torbjörn Lööf is the chief executive and he says this “is the biggest development in how consumers meet Ikea since the concept was founded.”
He added: “We want to learn, and know what it is for a company like Ikea to be there. We want to find out how we could keep our identity on a third-party platform.”
Ikea does already offer online ordering and delivery but not a comprehensive service. And it looks like fulfilment is a problem for the Swedish flat-pack giant. A message on the order screen on the UK site says that there currently longer than usual lead times for delivery when ordering online.
They were also quite late to digital selling in the first place with demand and fulfilment being a major barrier then too. There was concern that they quite simply wouldn’t be able to cope with possible demand.
It will be of particular interest, specifically with reference to Amazon, whether part of the draw is being able to utilise Amazon’s considerable fulfilment expertise and possibly using FBA.
From a personal perspective, this sounds very interesting too. I don’t live particularly close to a store and also, I don’t have a vehicle, so this could be just the thing to hook me up with a new Billy bookcase.