Ikea details global expansion plan

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STOCKHOLM -- Sweden's Ikea, with its 134 furniture sales outlets in 28 countries, plans to invest $500m a year over the next three years to expand in Europe, Asia and North America. The expansion will involve the opening of new stores, as well as acquisition-driven enlargement of the company's presence in strategic markets.

"We are planning comprehensive refurbishment programs for our largest stores, including Brent Park in London and Kungens Kurva in Stockholm. Additionally, we will open 10 new stores a year over a three year period," says Ikea's president Anders Moberg.

At present, 85% of Ikea's turnover, which last year amounted to $5.2bn worldwide, is generated in Europe, 13% in the U.S. and Canada and 1.5% in Asia. "These percentages will change. We are opening our first store in China (Shanghai) in October, and hope to have six outlets in place in China by the year 2000," says Moberg.

This autumn, Ikea will decide which other Asian markets will receive top priority. The company is examining the possibility of opening new stores in Korea, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. "Our ability to introduce the Ikea business culture on these new markets will determine the pace of expansion," says Moberg.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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