Ikano Retail, an IKEA franchisee, reported a 57% in eCommerce sales for the financial year of 2021, from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021. Ikano also saw 39 million visits to IKEA's website in Malaysia, with online sales in the market more than double from the previous year; at RM247 million. Even amidst COVID-19, Ikano Retail CEO Christian Rojkjaer said it executed expansion plans, grew eCommerce sales and safeguarded jobs. Overall, there were 113 million visits to IKEA websites in all Ikano markets, and 864,000 online orders placed across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Mexico, up 64.5% from the previous financial year.

Meanwhile, the company posted RM3.6 billion in revenue for FY21. The brand only saw a small growth of 3.3% due to the pandemic and subsequent business closures and lockdowns. While Singapore saw an uptick of 21% for its FY21 turnover, at RM1.1 billion, Malaysia had a 13.9% dip at RM1.3 billion.

Ikano Retail operates 11 IKEA stores and five IKEA-anchored shopping centres across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Mexico. Much of Ikano’s growth is owing to its new stores in Singapore and Mexico. In Singapore, Ikano opened IKEA Jurong; Southeast Asia’s first small-format IKEA store, selling the full range through digital solutions and multi-skilled co-workers. Meanwhile, in Mexico City, Ikano opened the first IKEA in Latin America and clocked almost 15 million visits to its IKEA Oceania store and website combined.

Ikano also invested to defend its offer at Ikano Centres in Malaysia and Thailand, supporting its tenants through tough times and securing a healthy lease rate of 92% amidst the challenging retail landscape. “We made sure that our centres continue to be meeting places for the many, offering a safe and fun day out as our economies open up and learn to live with COVID-19," said Rojkjaer. 

Additionally, Ikano entered the home renovation and design business, with new IKEA Planning Studios in Thailand and Singapore. Ikano also relaunched IKEA for Business in Southeast Asia to better serve small enterprises in setting up Swedish-inspired office solutions, shops and more.

Earlier in June, Ikano IKEA Southeast Asia’s shopping centre arm, Ikano Centres, promoted marketing manager Natasha Aziz to head of customer experience and digital (shopping centres) based in Malaysia. She  joined Ikano Centres in 2019  from Entropia Blanc where she was head of integrated brand experiences. She replaced former head of marketing Andrew Yeoh, who left in April to join TIME dotCom as head of marketing. He  previously spent five years with  the brand. 

Separately, in May,  IKEA appointed PHD as its media agency of record across Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. Following a media review, the appointment saw the agency take on the complete media planning and buying duties for the brand for two years. The Ikano stores which also called for a pitch is working with PHD. 

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