IKEA to send local furniture abroad
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsIKEA, the Sweden-based global retail chain, is preparing to launch goods produced by Turkish furniture manufacturers across international markets, according to a top executive of the local unit.
“Turkey is one of the leading markets in terms of yielding growth for IKEA. We are already planning to open two more stores in the next five years, in addition to the five IKEA stores we already have here,” said General Manager Fuat Atalay at a press meeting in Istanbul yesterday.
“We aim to export Turkish furniture with Swedish designs and marketing it globally, along with production from Sweden, Poland and Romania,” Atalay told the Daily News. A few manufacturers are undergoing a quality testing period for the company, he added.
The Swedish firm already exports a number of Turkish products, including ceramics, china, textile products and accessories. Total exports of Turkish products through IKEA reached approximately $500 million last year, up from $200 million in 2003, according to Atalay. “We aim to increase this volume to $900 million in five-years’ time,” he said. The company could easily reach this target if Turkish furniture were to be available from IKEA shops in near future.
As of November last year, the lira depreciation supported the country’s overall exports performance, particularly in the furniture sector, Chief Economist of BGC Partners Özgür Altuğ said.
Furniture production in Turkey posted a 15.3 percent rise in November, validating the level of domestic economic activity and success in exports compared with the same month last year, Altuğ told investors recently.
However, Atalay said the company was affected by the lira’s weak performance as it depreciated about 18 percent last year against the U.S. dollar. “Still, we have not changed our prices announced in September last year for 2012,” he said.
Atalay said the Swedish company performs better in European stores compared with those in Turkey, despite an ongoing economic crisis across the continent and slowdown in domestic demand.