Ikea is considering making more products in the UK as the Swedish furniture chain bids to fend off Brexit-led price rises.
The retailer already makes some sofas and mattresses in Britain, but UK boss Gillian Drakeford said it was actively examining how it might increase that work while looking at other products that can be sourced domestically.
Drakeford told the Guardian that the chain’s growing UK sales gave her the capacity and resources to source more locally.
“We have a number of sofa suppliers in the UK we work with today and we are looking at what more products could we source in the UK.” She said manufacturing and sourcing more locally could help offset the risks in importing goods.
“Currency is our biggest challenge,” she said, referring to the fall in value of the pound against the euro and the dollar, which despite recent fluctuations, is down by between 10% and 12% since the EU referendum. The lower value of the pound has made it more expensive to import goods while potential tariffs once the UK exits the EU formally could also adds to costs.
About 60% of Ikea’s products are made in Europe with only a small proportion made in the UK.
“We believe we can double market share here,” Drakeford said. “We’ve been here for 30 years and will be here for the future.”
She said inflation, which hit a three-and-a-half-year high of 2.7% last month, was feeding into the UK furnishings market and the company was determined to maintain its reputation for good value. So far this year, Drakeford said Ikea had not seen shoppers holding back on buying expensive items such as kitchens and that the number of people visiting its stores had continued to rise.
But she said: “We know that wallets are going to be squeezed and inflation has started to kick in now and people are going to have less money in their pockets.”
All Ikea products are designed in Sweden but the group does develop local goods for certain markets if there is demand. Drakeford…