Ikea opens its wallet wide. One billion in France, more than two billion in the United States: the time has come for investments for the Swedish group. Its goal is to win even more customers, to whom it intends to offer "greener" products and lower prices after the peak of inflation.

On Sunday, on the eve of Choose France, a summit of international investors convened by Emmanuel Macron in Versailles, Ikea unveiled 906 million euros of additional investments by 2026 in France. An additional €377 million will be allocated from a previous envelope that had not been fully consumed. Already at the end of April, Ikea had announced more than 2 billion euros of investments over three years to develop its presence in the United States.

The France is the group's "third market"

"Ikea is doing really well today" and "supply chains are normalizing" despite an "incredibly complicated" and inflationary environment, says Jesper Brodin, boss of the Ingka holding, which includes most Ikea stores worldwide and accounts for more than 90% of its total turnover.

The conquest of new customers is the watchword after a difficult year 2022, marked by inflation and the precipitous withdrawal of Russia after the invasion of Ukraine whose financial impact has however been "sold", according to Jesper Brodin. The France is "our third market" in the world and "we think we can grow there," he says.

The furniture kit specialist has announced the opening of a new logistics center in Toulouse in 2024, and confirmed a similar location in 2026 in Limay in the Paris region. The envelope also covers the purchase of the Paris shopping center Italie Deux, announced in early April, to relocate the store in the district of La Madeleine and its employees.

Commitments to sustainable development

To attract customers, Ikea is also betting on increasingly competitive prices after having "had to pass on some increases". Fluctuations and uncertainties along the supply chain persist but "in a few months we should be able to be where we were before the pandemic," according to the Ingka executive. As a result, "some of our costs are falling," notes Jesper Brodin, who promises to pass on these decreases to receipts, after the announcement in December 2021 of a price increase of 9% on average.

Ikea also emphasizes the sustainable development commitments of its investments: participation in a solar park project in France, delivery by the Seine in Paris, electrification of vehicles... The group will also "support" the Dutch start-up RetourMatras in its project to "increase the recycling capacity of mattresses in France by 500,000 units".

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