Loulé IKEA store manager Abdelhak Ayadi told us the reasons behind the decision: “In order to understand IKEA, you need to understand Sweden as a country and as a society. One thing that is very important there is equality among people. We want to give everyone an opportunity to have a comfortable home at an accessible price,” he said, adding that the company realised that spending power in Portugal was lower than in other European countries.
Ayadi says he is aware that IKEA provides the Portuguese market with quality and wallet-friendly furniture solutions, however, “this might not be enough.”
“Purchasing power is weaker, and the indoor furniture market is not as developed. We believe people need a little more support when it comes to creating a comfortable home,” said the store manager.
The move represents an investment of around €6 million by the furniture group as manufacturing costs remain the same.
So far, prices have been lowered on 130 products identified as “already very popular” among customers.
According to Ayadi, the goal is to maintain the price reduction for the foreseeable future and continue offering “lower prices every day” instead of offering sporadic discounts.
Although sales performance at the Loulé store cannot be compared to other IKEA outlets – in Lisbon sales are six times higher – Ayadi says he is very happy about the Algarve results and believes there is still room to grow.
Online shopping is a segment on the rise virtually everywhere and IKEA is no exception.
While shoppers can choose to order products online and have them delivered to their homes, IKEA also offers a service called ‘Click and Go’.
“The service is for those who know what they want and do not want to waste time. All they have to do is, place their order and the products will be available for pick-up at the checkout. We send clients an SMS when the order is ready,” he said, adding that the service has been available since July and is “very successful”.
IKEA has also changed product displays at the store – three model apartments have been set up to “showcase the best of what we have to offer”.
“You can equip a 55sqm, two-bedroom apartment for under €3,000. I have worked for IKEA for 28 years and even I was surprised,” he said.