With high expectations.
Ikea will pilot an online retail store in Australia by the end of calendar 2016, ahead of a global launch. The retailer will establish on online portal within the next six months and start testing different fulfilment models, including a small format store and pickup point, an unbranded pick-up point and a third-party depot similar to one already operating in Tasmania.
Country managing director David Hood believes the online store could eventually become Ikea’s largest outlet in Australia, where sales will rise around 20% this year, passing the $1 billion mark for the first time.
Same-store sales have risen about 8 or 9% this fiscal year with Melbourne and Brisbane out-pacing Sydney and topline sales have been boosted by the opening of its Canberra store last November, which is trading 20% above expectations.
Hood expects sales on the East Coast to reach $1.8 billion or $1.9 billion by 2020 as Ikea becomes more accessible to customers by opening another five large-format stores as well as between six and eight smaller-format stores and online pick-up points.
Ikea has also invested $155 million into a multi-function distribution and logistics centre currently under construction at Marsden Park in Sydney’s west, due for completion by March or April next year.