Swedish furniture giant IKEA has launched its long-awaited for online store in Australia, but there’s a catch. For the time being at least, only shoppers in Tasmania will be able to use the e-commerce platform.
Tasmania is the only Australian state without an IKEA store and until today, shoppers had to use a mail order service if they wanted to order products from the retailer.
Now those shoppers can place orders online from ikea.com.au and “click and collect” from pickup points in Hobart or Launceston, the retailer said in a statement.
The products will be shipped from the IKEA store in Melbourne and according to Fairfax, if demand proves strong, the retail giant will open a physical store in the southern state that will carry around 2000 of IKEA’s most popular products.
“The new service also allows for more peace of mind with secure online payments, as well as the ability for customers to track their order and select a preferred date for collection,” said IKEA Australia multichannel manager Michael Donath in the statement.
Shoppers in the Australian Capital Territory will be granted access to the IKEA online shopping experience at the end of the month. Orders will be sourced from the IKEA store in Canberra and delivery will also be offered to regional New South Wales centres like Albury, Wagga Wagga and Goulburn.
The online portal is part of what the retailer is calling its “Multichannel strategy”, which according to Fairfax, will involve the opening of up to another five large-format stores and up to eight smaller format outlets and pick-up points for online orders.
IKEA Australia country manager David Hood said in June the retailer has a two-year plan to establish a global e-commerce platform.
Hood told Fairfax he expects online sales to grow to 10% of the retailer’s sales in Australia within the next five years, and eventually eclipsing sales from IKEA’s largest physical store.
“That’s the case in every other country where we have online shopping and it doesn’t really take away from the stores business,” he said.
Retail expert Brian Walker, chief executive of the Retail Doctor Group, previously told SmartCompany Australia is the “perfect market” for IKEA to establish an e-commerce presence, as Australians are early adopters when it comes to online shopping.
“This expansion will allow IKEA to achieve a broader cross section, and establish themselves as an omnichannel retailer,” he said.