Ever-popular Swedish furniture brand IKEA will be expanding its operations in the Czech Republic later this year to cater to more online sales as the country opens up a series of distribution sites around the country.
Non-branded distribution points for IKEA orders placed online will be opening in Hradec Králové, Karlovy Vary, České Budějovice, Plzeň, Ústí nad Labem, Liberec and Zlín in 2020. At each location, customers will be able to pick up their goods rather than rely on a transportation service.
IKEA currently has four stores in the Czech Republic, including two in Prague and one each in the Moravian cities of Brno and Ostrava. Delivery options to other locations around the Czech Republic are limited and can be expensive.
“Customers bringing products home themselves is an affordable alternative to delivery services,” Federica Barberis, IKEA’s Sales Director for the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, stated in a press release.
While the brick-and-mortar IKEA stores remain the company’s primary focus, the company’s online sales in the Czech Republic have significantly increased in recent years, and were up 36% in 2019.
Customers also tend to spend more when ordering online versus in-store, with an average online order of more than 9,000 crowns versus 1,750 crowns at physical IKEA stores.
IKEA is also planning to open new distribution boxes at their Prague stores in Černý Most and Zličín that would allow customers to pick up goods – both large and small – even when the stores themselves are closed.
Last year, IKEA operated a pop-up store in the center of Prague’s Wenceslas Square to showcase its wares, but the shop closed during the second half of the year.
According to company statistics, 10.1 million people visited the four IKEA stores in the Czech Republic last year – a number just shy of the country’s overall population. IKEA restaurants served 5.4 million people, dishing out 1.6 million orders of the company’s signature meatballs.
Overall revenues for IKEA Czech Republic were up 6.3% last year, to 10.7 billion crowns.