European furniture giant Ikea is planning to enter the South American market, with its first stores set to start slowly opening in Colombia, Chile, and Peru over the next decade.
Bogotá will be the first city in Colombia to receive an Ikea store, said the company in a statement, but the ribbon-cutting ceremony remains years away. This inauguration in the capital will follow the first on the continent, in Santiago, Chile, which is slated to open its doors in 2020.
The growth plans come through a franchise agreement, thus far in the form of a memorandum of understanding, with Chilean retailer Falabella, which has a large presence across the continent, including more than two dozen locations in Colombia.
In all, Ikea said it will open “at least” nine stores in South America over the next 10 years. Lima, the capital of Peru, is the third location, in addition to Santiago and Bogotá, announced thus far.
These nine openings in three countries will add to Ikea’s current 418 stores in 49 markets, according to the company, which was founded in Sweden and now has its headquarters in Leiden, Netherlands.
The move is part of a larger push for global sales growth by Ikea, which is known for its enormous warehouse stores full of furniture and home products. Across all channels and locations, the company wants to reach 3.2 billion customers by 2025 — nearly triple the 1.2 billion customers it claims today.
To help get there, and in concert with the South American strategy, Ikea is planning to more aggressively court digital sales through a significant investment in e-commerce. This online plan extends into the new markets, including Colombia.
“We will bring to the three countries the full experience of Ikea, with stores and online sales such as those already existing in Europe, the United States, and Asia,” said Sandro Solari, CEO of S.A.C.I. Falabella.
Solari added that this alliance with Ikea “will complement the current offer of products and services of our home improvement subsidiary Sodimac,” which operates retail stores branded as Homecenter in Colombia.
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