The furniture company Ikea continues its growth in Mexico, as part of its expansion plans for Latin America, for which seeks to open new physical establishments in Puebla, Guadalajara and Monterrey, as well as expand its digital stores, reported Ricardo Pinheiro, Sales Director of Ikea in Mexico.
The Swedish company opened its first branch in Mexico City, in April 2021, and now the company is preparing to land in Puebla, capital of the central state of the same name.
“If all goes well (it will be) during the summer, no later than that, and from then on we will continue with our plans to open a physical store also in (the cities of) Guadalajara and Monterrey,” said the manager.
The store in Mexico City had an investment of around 1,500 million pesos (about 74 million dollars) and is located in the Oceania area, east of the capital.
For Pinheiro, the arrival of Ikea in Mexico reports a “very positive balance” in its first year of operations, which was completed on April 8.
“We have had more than two million visitors in the store the first year and it is even more positive if we take into consideration that we have opened the first store in Mexico in the midst of a pandemic,” he said.
These good figures, he continued, come with the added challenge of building the store in that period, setting it up, bringing the products to Mexico and forming the teams.
“That is why I always say that it has been a miracle to open this store in these circumstances. (…) In a year of closure due to confinement, that gives us the clear idea that Mexicans were waiting for the brand and are happy with our arrival,” he claimed.
Pinheiro considered that despite the fact that more and more Mexicans are getting to know Ikea, they should also think that “two million visitors in a city (and metropolitan area) that has 24 million makes us see that our market share is still quite low “.
He said that one of the factors is that in Mexico “there are competitors in the internal market” that have been “for many years.”
“But despite this Ikea has made a big difference in this market for quality, design, functionality” and even prices, he remarked.
He stressed that the opening of the second physical store shows that the brand “is very solid” in the Mexican market and that it comes with a long-term plan.
For the manager, the Mexican client “embraced the brand in a very natural and very strong way”, something that had surprised them since they launched the digital store in October 2020.
“The pandemic taught us that customers increasingly prefer the digital store, which we opened in Mexico City in October 2020. Later, we expanded the business to the outskirts of the capital, such as the cities of Puebla, Toluca, Pachuca, Querétaro and Cuernavaca,” Pinheiro said.
Later, he said, they opened the digital store in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara, both cities in the state of Jalisco. While a month ago they opened in this same format in Monterrey (Nuevo León) and Saltillo (Coahuila).
“We have a plan that in the coming months until the end of this year we would like to expand the digital store much more to many more cities such as San Miguel de Allende, San Luis Potosí and León, cities that are very powerful and that are in this interior zone of the country,” he said.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the firm currently has a presence in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, although in the coming months it will also open in Chile, Peru and Colombia.
Ikea is one of the most recognized brands in its field due to the rotation of its products and the way it is sold, with signposted itineraries, creation of spaces, thematic concepts and accessories during the visit, such as a restaurant.
As for whether there are expansion plans in Central America, Pinheiro acknowledged that the pandemic has stopped Ikea from launching in other countries in the area.
“We are trying, in these post-pandemic times, to once again ensure a more stable supply of products after the pandemic generated quite a bit of chaos throughout the supply chain, especially in maritime transport,” he explained.
For this reason, he said, Ikea is very focused in the next 12 months on “stabilizing and recovering” that supply chain and avoiding delays.
“Right now we are not thinking of any Central American country. We are focused on stabilizing and satisfying the clients we already have,” he said.