STOCKHOLM, Sept 25 (Reuters) - IKEA’s online sales surged 43% in the 12 months to the end of August, helping to drive overall retail sales at the world’s biggest furniture group 6% higher, based on local currencies, brand owner and franchisor Inter IKEA said on Wednesday.
Retail sales - or sales of products and services at all 433 IKEA stores and online sites - came in at 41.3 billion euros ($45.4 billion), an increase of 6.5% from the previous fiscal year when accounted for in euros, it said in a statement.
IKEA, known for its giant out-of-town budget furniture stores, is investing heavily in adapting to new shopping habits and online competition, developing digital and other services as well as setting up smaller stores and showrooms in city centres.
Chief Executive Torbjorn Loof told Reuters that sales at stores open a year or more rose 1.2% and that online sales now accounted for 7% of total sales.
In its previous fiscal year, retail sales rose 4.5% in local currencies and like-for-like sales growth was 1%.
IKEA stores are owned by 12 franchisees in more than 50 markets. Ingka Group, formerly IKEA Group, which has 374 stores, reported separately a 5.0% rise in local currency retail sales to 36.7 billion euros. Ingka’s online sales soared 46% to make up 11% of its total sales. ($1 = 0.9097 euros) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by David Clarke)