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Monday, 19 June, 2000, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Ikea expands in UK
Ikea website
Self-assembly - the Ikea philosophy
Swedish furniture chain Ikea has announced a huge expansion in the UK over the next 10 years.

It says it will build 20 new stores, creating 10,000 jobs.

The privately held company, the world's largest furniture retailer, says it is considering sites in Manchester, Coventry, Glasgow, south Wales, the south coast and London.

The plan is for eight of the new stores to be built in the next five years at a cost of 300m, with the others to follow.

Ikea predicts that the increased number of stores could double sales and bring its prices down by about 20%.

Brownfield sites

Managing director Goran Nilsson said: "More stores is one of the key components to decreasing prices further.

"We are a volume retailer. We will offset the price decreases with higher sales."

He also said: "Where possible, we will build on brownfield sites."

Ikea, which opened its first UK store in 1987, currently has ten outlets across the country.

But Ikea believes that there is still more demand for its goods.

Evidence for this is the fact that shoppers are willing to put up with lengthy queues inside and outside stores.

In the North West, for example, shoppers routinely spend an hour in traffic jams on the approach to its Warrington outlet.

Ikea is the third-biggest furniture retailer in Britain after MFI and DFS.

Second after Germany

The UK is Ikea's second-biggest market after Germany, accounting for 11.5% of the company's 5bn turnover.

It employs 5,000 people in the UK and 50,000 across the world.

Total sales in the UK reached 584m last year, and profits before tax were 110m.

This year, the group is expecting sales to exceed 700m.

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02 Aug 98 | Europe
Ikea chokes on meatball tariffs
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