That Amazon Prime membership may become even more valuable soon: IKEA just announced that it's going to start selling its products on websites other than its own beginning in 2018.
Though Inter IKEA Group Chief Executive Torbjorn Loof, who heads up brand and strategy for the Swedish furniture giant, would not name the channels through which they'll first be testing third party online sales, Reuters reports that Amazon (which itself announced plans to venture into furniture) and China's Alibaba were likely.
"I leave unsaid on which (platforms), but we will test and pilot, to see 'what does this mean, what does digital shopping look like in future and what do digital shopping centers mean?'," Loof said.
The news is hallelujah-inducing for the carless everywhere, and those living in design deserts. Imagine being able to order up extra Scandi style wine stems for a party — or one of IKEA's 9,499 other products — by Amazon Now, versus having to rent a ZipVan or hire a TaskRabbit to run to IKEA for you in order to transport one of its best-selling furniture products to your pad.
Casting what Co.Design called a "democratic light" on the beloved affordable furniture brand, its most recent ad asks: "Why should function and quality be a privilege for the few? That question is behind everything we do." And now, the right to own IKEA could be at every doorstep.
Under its owned and operated supply chain, IKEA currently has 28 distribution centres and 11 customer distribution centres in 16 countries. Using flat packs, transporting goods where possible by rail and sea, and utilizing fuel-saving techniques allows the company to be cost-effective and environmentally friendly, according to its Facts & Figures page.
And by leveraging the increasingly innovative, decentralized warehousing and delivery models of Amazon and other e-commerce disruptors, IKEA may also further its social and environmental responsibility mission by reducing all of our collective carbon emissions. (Or just avoid more mishaps like having British customers trapped in its parking garages for hours.)