After being forced to close their doors, IKEA is planning on opening their stores in Europe come May. Not only that, they're also preparing for a baby boom. According to IKEA store owner Ingka Group CEO, Jesper Brodin, each store needs to be closed for up to eight weeks.
"This is the period we need to preserve and, so to speak, survive," he said according to Business Insider. "The sales drop in the period we're in is about 60 [percent]." The world's largest furniture retailer had their group sales slashed following the coronavirus pandemic. The percentage covers their 420 stores and showrooms globally being in countries like the United States, Europe and Asia. While they plan on opening stores in Europe, and more in China, there has not been a date set yet for those in the US.
While stores may have been shut down, like a lot of huge retailers, including Walmart, the company saw a surge in online sales, numbers that were twice as high as a year ago, which has allowed a nice cushion for the company since their in-store sales dropped. "Some countries are close to ten times the e-commerce they had before the outbreak," he explained. "The most extreme is Denmark where sales have now recovered to levels seen before stores closed."
Since people have stayed home a lot more than usual the last few weeks, the company is resorting to history to assume there may be a baby boom in a few months, so they're preparing for that. "Crisis back in time have resulted in baby booms," Brodin said, therefore the company is stocking up on baby-related products, as well as, other items like office furniture, laundry baskets, kitchen and cooking equipment. However, while they're planning on stocking up, the company is also aware that people will be in a different financial spot than they were a few months ago, considering so many people have lost their jobs. As a result, the group will cut prices on several products in the coming year and then work with the economy after that. "Tendencies are similar to what we saw after [the financial crisis in] 2008 — that people have less money," the CEO explained. Although the company has seen a tremendous loss in sales, Brodin says he expects the company to recover up to 90% by September but that they do "expect next year to be tougher" for them "without any doubt."