It looks like flat-pack furniture giant IKEA has finally decided to put together a business in Ukraine.
The Swedish retailer confirmed on Sept. 12 that it will enter Ukraine’s market, opening a store in Kyiv in 2019.
The official announcement from the company came minutes after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wrote on Twitter that the company was to enter the Ukrainian market.
“IKEA is coming to Ukraine! Today I have a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of South East Europe Stefan Vanoverbeke,” Poroshenko wrote.
The multibillion-dollar company is a global retailer of furniture, home decor and kitchen appliances, present in 29 countries and famous for its wide range of products and reasonable prices. Over the last year, 2.3 billion people have visited IKEA’s website, which also sells products online.
The company’s store will be located at the brand new Ocean Mall shopping and entertainment center, which is scheduled to open in November. The IKEA store will open in 2019.
“IKEA confirmed that it wants to contribute to a better life for the many people in Ukraine by bringing affordable home furnishing products and solutions to the many people,” the company’s statement reads.
The Swedish company usually builds large warehouse-style stores in the city outskirts. But they have started to switch to the format of “city stores,” adapting to the needs of their urban customers and getting a better feel of the market.
Such stores operate in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Denmark and China. The future store in Kyiv will follow that format – it will be located in the central part of the city near another mall, Ocean Plaza, right by Lybidska metro station.
“The company is switching to smaller stores located in city centers in order to satisfy modern customers who want to make purchases closer to their homes, and also do that online,” the company’s statement reads.
IKEA’s store in Kyiv “will offer a wide range of attractively designed products, as well as a list of services and solutions for the home.” Ukrainians will also now be able to purchase online and pick up their orders at the store, the company said.
Vanoverbeke says that after researching Ukraine’s market the retailer has chosen “the most suitable business model, allowing us to meet many consumers in Kyiv in the shortest possible time.”
The company’s decision to join the Ukrainian market could be a sign of positive changes in the country’s investment climate.
In Sweden-Ukraine bilateral relations alone, the last two years have been the best for Swedish exports to Ukraine since 2011, reaching $400 million in 2017, while Ukraine’s exports to Sweden hit a record high – $89 million.
And on Aug. 18, iconic Swedish fast-fashion clothing brand H&M opened its first store in Ukraine. It will open its second store in October.