Customers shopping at the IKEA Lakeside store in Grays, Essex, (Getty)
  • The Swedish furniture giant Ikea – known for its cheap prices and flat-pack products – is opening a record number of stores this year, despite the global pandemic.
  • It has plans to expand into emerging markets in South America and India.
  • But it has no immediate plans for South Africa.
  • For more articles, go to www.businessinsider.co.za

Despite the global pandemic, furniture giant Ikea will open a record number of stores in 2020.

The Swedish brand is adding 50 stores this year, the Financial Times reports. It already has 455 stores, run by franchisees, in more than 50 countries throughout Europa and the US, and in smaller markets like Kuwait and Slovakia. It has launched a big push into emerging markets, and plans to open stores in Chile, Colombia and Peru as well as Estonia, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. In India, the company is planning to open 25 stores by 2025.

But South Africa is not on its list.

Inter IKEA Systems, which manages Ikea’s franchise services, says there are no immediate plans to start Ikea operations in South Africa.

“We are of course constantly investigating expansion opportunities world-wide in markets where we are still not present,” a spokesperson told Business Insider SA.

Ikea - known for its relatively cheap homeware and flat-packed, self-assembled furniture - doesn’t have an equivalent in South Africa.

Currently, South African fans can buy Ikea products through platforms like Home Swede Home and My Flatpack, which import a select range of goods.

READ : 13 interesting things you didn't know about IKEA

While Ikea isn’t yet selling in Africa, Africa is selling in Ikea: the group recently launched a line of armchairs, benches and tableware  designed  by some of Africa’s top creates. The Överallt range, which means “everywhere” in Swedish, also includes bold textiles designed by South Africans Sindiso Khumalo and Renee Rossouw.

A throw from the Överallt range. (Ikea)

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