Ikea aims to double UK market share
Flat-pack furniture giant Ikea is planning to double its UK business by the end of the decade with a raft of new stores and an online sales push.
The Swedish company, which currently has 18 stores across the UK, said its ambitious expansion plans will see it boost its share of Britain's home furnishings market from 6% to more than 12%.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Ikea UK boss Gillian Drakeford said she aims to increase annual turnover to more than £2 billion by 2020.
Ms Drakeford, who took on the job this summer, said: "We have been in the UK for 26 years, but we have only really been scratching at the surface in terms of market share and the position we have.
"At times we have been seen as a player on the side, rather than the main player.
"I see a tremendous opportunity here. I'll be clear, we can double our market share with the steps we are taking."
Ikea has not opened a store in the UK since Southampton in February 2009, but is now planning three more stores in Reading, Sheffield and Exeter and is revamping its superstores to make shopping a more enjoyable experience.
Last year, it earmarked nearly £27 million towards improving its store environment.
It also wants to boost its online capability, with internet sales accounting for less than 10% of overall revenues each year.
Annual results next month will reveal if Ikea has bounced back after reporting a 20% slump in UK profits to £19.8 million in the year to August 31 2012 - its worst performance since 2009.
Its bottom line took a hit from investing in its operations and cutting prices to match cut-throat competition.
The company was founded in Sweden in the 1940s.