Dubai: Swedish furnishing chain Ikea is considering opening more outlets in the GCC, according to the company’s top executive in the region.
“We are looking at the possibility of expanding current stores, but we are also looking at eventually adding projects,” John Kersten, managing director of Ikea for the region, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the 2014 Ikea catalogue launch on Wednesday. He added that no decisions have been made yet.
Meanwhile, the retailer is planning to open a store in Cairo at the end of this year and a store in Muscat, Oman, “within the next two to three years,” Kersten said.
Asked why the outlet in Muscat, which was announced in 2009, has not yet opened, Kersten said: “It was originally scheduled for earlier. But those are big stores so you need a big piece of land and a good location where people have easy access.”
Indicators show Ikea has recorded positive growth in recent years. Year-on year growth stood at 15 per cent in the UAE.
Also, it added 3,000 new products in this year’s UAE catalogue compared to last year. Ikea’s flat-pack furniture encompasses primarily a modern Scandinavian style.
In the last 12 months, Ikea welcomed 4.5 million visitors to its Dubai store, and 1.7 million to its Abu Dhabi outlet. Most of the visitors in Dubai were Arab, who made up 30 per cent of total visitors.
Ikea has three outlets operated by Al Futtaim group, two in the UAE and one in Qatar. Besides, the company has operations in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Ikea has 345 stores in 44 countries.