9News: New Era

Peter Overton: Flat pack furniture giant with an almost cult-like following, IKEA, has been serving Australia customers for almost 43 years.

In a push to increase its market share, the Swedish retailer IKEA is about to undergo a major transformation.

With new stores cheaper products and even a scheme to bring down your power bills.

Ross Greenwood: New boss, Jard Gardberg, previously ran IKEA in China and Russia – and has never spoken publically here before.

But boy, does he have big plans.

 Jard Gardberg: I’m imagining that we are going with smaller format stores, and that we will be putting them where people are already shopping today.

Ross: In other words, IKEA in shopping centres and pop up IKEA stores, like in Dubai and London.

But that is only the start of his major four-point plan.

Jard: Its possible that we may even look into how we can bring in domestic production into Australia.
Ross: Local manufacturing – mattresses and bedding to start with – means more jobs, more business for local companies, maybe even better for shoppers.

Jard: That will help us to lower the prices even more, but still keep the high quality.

Ross: But this could be the IKEA bosses boldest plan – cheap solar panels for your home. At cost. So no profit to IKEA – to slash your electricity bills.

Jard: This should be able to give an affordable energy solution to private people.

Ross: IKEA’s boss wants to double its share of retail sales in Australia – to do that, he needs more stores, five or six he says, including regional areas.

What you’re talking about is a genuine game-changer isn’t it?

Jard: Definitely. The stores will continue to be there and to offer everything, and much more for the future but with the multi-channel transformation in mind, it’s really going to be something extraordinary.

Ross: Extraordinary but so is the sales pitch that appeals to every one of your senses.

It smells, it smells. It smells like baked goods in here

Jard: Yes, definitely, you can see the baking activities here in store and it’s another way to appeal –

Ross: Hang on, I can hear birds…but were inside…

Jard: Yes, yes

Ross: Are you tricking shoppers?

Jard: No I don’t think its tricking shoppers, this is about helping and encouraging people to dream about how they could transform their life.

Ross: Everything it seems is being transformed at IKEA. Except one things isn’t changing – the famous meatballs.

Ross Greenwood; Nine News

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