IKEA’s New Europe Empire

IKEA’s New Europe Empire
IKEA has a total of 49 stores in Central and Eastern Europe, and plans to open at least another dozen in the coming years.
By bne IntelliNews April 3, 2021

Far from today’s big boxes with everything from spoons to a complete kitchen and, of course, IKEA meat balls, the Swedish furniture store’s beginning in Poland was in a dreary metal sheet shed in a dreary Warsaw district of Ursynow. Reportedly, it was the only building around with an entrance wide enough for getting a bed through it.

The year was 1990 and Poland had just emerged from decades of communism only a year earlier. Consumerism had arrived, with shelves of slick but affordable furniture and accessories highlighting the failure of socialism to produce anything anyone actually wanted to buy.  

IKEA’S first store – called the IKEA Start Shop and advertised as “Extraordinary furniture store from Sweden” – offered a bit of everything, like it still does today; except the range of items on offer was smaller and most shoppers could only afford a few small items. The average monthly wage in Poland back then was barely over $100.

Three decades on and the Polish IKEA caters to millions of customers a year. Nearly uninterrupted economic growth and rising wages – the average gross pay packet is some 13 times larger than it was in 1990 – have ensured an ever-expanding market for the company’s products.

Today the Polish IKEA has 11 flagship stores across the country – including three in Warsaw – and one under construction. These are not the tin sheds of the first outlet, but the full-blown trademark yellow and blue labyrinths that are so familiar to the rest of us. The group also operates a property development company, 20 factories, and a banking services offshoot, Ikano Bank.

The company’s size in Poland makes the country of 38mn people the “second most important country for IKEA from the production point of view, just after China,” according to IKEA’s website.

IKEA’s 2019 revenue from retail only came in at PLN5bn ($1.3bn), rising to just over PLN10bn, if all of the group’s activities are accounted for.

In a slightly less-known story, 1990 was only the year in which IKEA entered Poland as a retailer. Poland’s history of co-operating with the Swedish furniture maker dates back decades earlier, to 1961, the year IKEA ordered a furniture factory in Radomsko to deliver 500 Ögla chairs made of bent beech wood.

Moscow opening  

You could make a crude index from matching the opening of an IKEA outlet to a country’s economic development. The Polish IKEA opened when the country had just won its independence but had yet to taste any of the fruits of the new economic ideology. The same can be said of the firm’s first Russian store that opened March 22, 2000, after Boris Yeltsin had resigned, but a week before Vladimir Putin was elected president for the first time, kicking off over a decade of rapid growth that transformed the average Russian’s life. The Swedish retailer seems to have an unerring knack of catching the absolute nadir of transition economies and opening a store in the midst of political and economic chaos. Ukrainians must be excited. They got their first IKEA store in February. Another wave of IKEA openings has recently swept the region as the company starts moving into the smaller or most backward countries.  

The opening of the Moscow branch was an iconic moment, on a par with the first McDonalds that opened on Pushkin Square in the heart of Moscow in the dying days of the Soviet Union. (These massive Western multinationals have to move into these markets early, as they are there for the long term and the earlier they arrive the larger the market share they can easily capture.)  

In March 2000 the chaos of Yeltsin’s 90s was about to end. The legendary president had resigned on New Year’s Eve a few months earlier and the country was about to vote in Vladimir Putin as president the following weekend. Things were changing fast but the material improvement in the quality of life was not visible yet. The economy had collapsed in 1998, defaulting on $40bn worth of the now infamous GKO bonds, and the ruble had devalued by three quarters overnight. Many Russians this correspondent talked to in those days wanted to leave for good.

But by 2000 the bounce-back was already under way. The 1998 financial crisis killed off what had been dubbed “the virtual economy”, where business was done through barter, and the devaluation had fairly priced the currency so everyone started using cash again. While the likes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were predicting a return to hyperinflation and a prolonged recession, what actually happened was a huge bounce back and Russia’s economy grew by 10% that year – a record that has never been beaten.

2000 marked the birth of Russia’s middle class and while the analysts wrung their hands in the aftermath of the 1998 meltdown, the people were out on the streets, shopping or hanging out in the numerous small cafes and restaurant that sprung up like mushrooms. Over the next eight years wages rose by about 10% a year as the government specifically tried to close the income gap between the public and the private sector.  

Putin called on the elite to close the gap and “catch up with Portugal”, then the poorest of the EU states. The economy more than doubled in size in the next decade. Putin’s early successes have often been credited to the rise in oil prices from the 1998 crisis low of $15 per barrel, but oil prices didn't start to climb until about 2003, when they eventually soared to a peak of $150. What drove the boom in the early days was simply putting cash back in the system.

In retrospect, the decision to launch IKEA in 2000 looks inspired. In fact it was just good luck. Lennart Dahlrgen was the general manager of IKEA’s Moscow store who arrived in August 1998 to set the business up, only a few days after the ruble crashed.

“It was a bit strange,” Dahlrgen told bne IntelliNews in March 2003 in an exclusive interview. “I was getting off the plane to launch a new business and all the other expat managers were getting on it to leave the country following the crash.”

But the company’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, had long been committed to Russia.

“Kamprad has always wanted to have a store in Russia. He has been saying since the 1960s that Russia was a gold mine. It has the population. It has the raw materials. It has a very long tradition of appreciating quality furniture. Look at all the palaces they built in the Tsarist times. Kamprad has always wanted to come to Russia and always saw it as a major production centre of a European furniture business.”

Before the IKEA store opened the company prepared the ground with the MEGA shopping complex where its Russian flagship store was eventually built. The shopping complex is on the Leningradsky Shosse spoke road that leads to Sheremetyevo International Airport where several huge anti-tank iron cross beams stand in the middle of the road like giant jacks that mark the closest the Nazi forces got to Moscow in WWII.

The MEGA shopping mall became home to several other leading retail chains, including the French supermarket chain Auchan and its biggest Russian store, so the parking lot in the centre of the complex was always full at the weekends.

Opening day

The opening day of IKEA was a media circus. Crowds thronged into the store that looked like some wonderland of Western goods at affordable prices and happily wound their way through the interminable labyrinth of impossibly named throw cushions, snap-close picture frames and elegantly designed kitchenware. Within a few months middle-class apartments across the capital looked like miniature copies of the IKEA showroom.

Pretty much every foreign correspondent trekked out to the store and wrote a story along the lines of: “the fruits of capitalism come to Russia,” to tap in the euphoria that accompanied the store’s opening (and most did a bit of shopping while they were here).

Built for a potential market of 10mn Muscovites, the store was one of the biggest in the chain and Dahlrgen told bne IntelliNews that while the product lines on offer had been slightly abridged to reflect the post-crisis state of the economy, the offering was largely the same as in the stores in Western Europe.

What the company didn't expect was the out-of-the-ballpark success of the store. The Moscow IKEA soon became the highest grossing IKEA, on a per square metre basis, of all the stores in the chain. The demand for high-quality attractive furniture at affordable prices was enormous and Muscovites had a lot more money squirreled away than the official statistics suggested.

"I did not have enough time to look around, because I came here looking specifically for a fold-up chair for our dacha. But then, well, the sofas here are so nice too,” Lyudmila Petrova, a pensioner, told AP on the opening day twenty years ago.

Russian light industry

The noughties in Russia were a good time. In the West Boris Yeltsin was seen as an icon of democratic progress and the great hope for the transmission of Russia into a respectable market economy. The realities on the ground were very different.  

Yeltsin is widely hated in Russia today as the oligarchs ran wild, inflation was in double digits and the country was hit by multiple crises, of which 1998 was the worst. IKEA opened a few months after the second Chechen war had started as Russian tanks rolled into Grozny and flattened the city. Moscow was to suffer from a string of terrorist attacks and metro bombings that reached its apex with the Nord Ost theatre hostage drama in 2002, where at least 170 people died.

Putin brought an end to all that with his now famous “oligarch meeting” the following summer. As the decade wore on stability arrived and incomes soared, for which Putin is still much respected. The retail sector flourished.

Kamprad’s vision meant that IKEA became a pioneer for the development of the country's light manufacturing sector across the region. In Poland it was manufacturing, not retail, that got the ball rolling, and that has always been a core part of IKEA’s business in Emerging Europe.  

But the overvalued ruble of the 90s meant that it made no sense to set up local production and Russia largely missed out on the classic emerging market early-stage development phase when light manufacturers move in to set up production to take advantage of cheap labour costs. There was no point in setting up a factory when it was cheaper to simply import lower-cost, higher-quality goods from Western Europe.

Once the retail arm was established IKEA began to help Russian companies making its furniture by financing their workshops and factories, supporting these businesses with soft credits, which were at liberty to work for other people and make non-IKEA goods.

The noughties saw the beginnings of a diversification of the economy, but light industry has only really taken off since the 2014 oil shock led to yet another steep devaluation of the ruble. Now Russian wages have fallen below even the level of the Chinese, leading to a huge rotation of orders away from the low-cost Chinese producers to the flourishing Russian light manufacturing sector. In a recent interview with the CEO of Fix Price Dmitry Kirsanov, a hard discounter that has just raised $2bn in an IPO, the company used to import three quarters of its good from China and the rest was locally produced. Now those shares have been reversed.

IKEA has continued to build up its Russian business and now boasts a total of 14 stores across the country. Russia is the fourth-biggest market by revenue after Germany, US and Sweden, and the biggest of the emerging markets.

There are now a total of three stores in Moscow, two in St Petersburg and more in the regional capitals of Nizhny NovgorodYekaterinburgKazanNovosibirskRostov-on-DonNovaya Adygea (in Adygea near Krasnodar), SamaraOmsk and Ufa. Currently there are plans to open at least five more stores.

The company’s history has not been entirely smooth. In 2016 IKEA was caught up in a corruption scandal and a court in Russia's Smolensk region froze RUB9.3bn ($146mn) on the accounts of IKEA, ruling against the Swedish flatpack furniture giant in a case initiated by a local entrepreneur.

In summer 2016, the company threatened to cut back its $1.54bn investment programme in Russia after losing another long-running RUB500mn ($8mn) legal dispute in Smolensk against Konstantin Ponomaryev, who claimed the company owed him back rent for electricity generators serving the stores.

In another case, IKEA's head office in Moscow was raided in connection with a separate dispute over property ownership rights, which the company’s lawyers claimed was a blackmail attempt.

"We have zero tolerance on corruption and we have a very clear policy," IKEA Russia’s managing director Per Wendschlag said in 2011.

Ukraine and Slovenia join the family

Ukraine and Slovenia are the latest two countries to join the IKEA family. The Kyiv store has been a long time in the making. It should be a no-brainer, as the 43mn strong population makes it the third-biggest consumer market in the region after Russia and Poland. However, three decades of mismanagement and almost constant crises has made it unappealing. But now it appears the market is about to come of age.  

The story with Slovenia is a little different. It also opened in February with a low-key socially distanced launch. With only 2mn people Slovenia is a tiny market by comparison – no bigger than one micro-district in a Moscow suburb – but as bne IntelliNews recently reported, it is the great secret economic success story of Emerging Europe. Incomes have risen sharply to the point where it is on par with the lower end of the old EU member states.

Like Poland in 1990 and Russia in 2000 Ukraine is poised to start its rapid catch-up growth spurt, but it is very early days and an imminent boom is not at all obvious.  

In 2009, IKEA bought a plot of land in Odessa on which to build a store. A year later IKEA cancelled the store, saying there was not a strong enough market.  

In September 2018, IKEA announced it was going to try again before the end of 2019. The store was planned for the Ocean Mall in Kyiv with their new concept city store. In December 2019, IKEA once again postponed the opening of the first store in Ukraine until spring 2020, when it launched an online service. The Ukrainian store finally opened in January in Blockbuster Mall in Kyiv.

"IKEA is pleased to announce the opening date of the first physical store in Ukraine. On February 1, the company will meet its first Ukrainian customers in the city format store in Kyiv, located in Blockbuster Mall. This event is another step towards expanding IKEA's market in Ukraine after launching the online store in May 2020," a company statement said.

Getting the Ukraine business going has been incredible difficult. The Ukrainian operation was dogged by scandal well before its doors opened.

Like the other markets, IKEA was already working with Ukraine to source inputs for its furniture manufacture, but last June British NGO Earthsight released the results of an 18-month investigation that alleged IKEA was selling beech chairs made from timber received from illegal logging of the forests in the Ukrainian Carpathians, an accusation IKEA has denied.

Even now that IKEA has started retail operations, it has kept that low key too. The Ukrainian branch is the company’s new “City store” format, a smaller store that is in the heart of the capital rather than the yellow and blue giant that opened in Moscow two decades ago.  

“The Kyiv store opening is an important achievement both for our Ukrainian operations and for the whole of IKEA South East Europe, as this is the first city store in the region”, said Florian Mellet, market manager at IKEA Kyiv, at the opening of the store.  

Overall, 2,000 home furnishing products are available for cash and carry, while the remaining 3,000 – mostly furniture and other larger products – are available for order. They can then be collected for free at one of the store’s pick-up points, including one directly in a store, or delivered straight to the purchaser's home for an additional charge.  

Social responsibility in Central Europe  

IKEA now has a total of 49 stores across the region and plans to open at least a dozen more in the next few years. Only the very smallest countries are without; however, many of the oldest stores are in Central Europe where the company has “become part of the furniture” and plays an active role in promoting liberal values.  

The company was relatively slow into the Baltic states, where it opened its first store in Lithuania in 2013, and those in Estonia and Latvia only in 2019. The first big name furniture store to arrive in the Baltics was the Finnish retailer Stockmann that set up in the 90s and then opened a legendary store in central Moscow that catered to the wealthy New Russians of the Yeltsin era and made a fortune. But as the market changed the focus, and profits, went from targeting a few super-rich minigarchs to catering to the mass market. Stockmann closed its flagship store in Moscow in 2016.  

IKEA in Czechia operates four stores, two of them in Prague, one in Brno and one in Ostrava. The first store in the country was built by Prague's Budejovicka metro station in 1991 and was moved to Prague Zlicin in 1996. In Slovakia, IKEA has operated only one store in its capital Bratislava since 1992. Since 2019, the company has opened several distribution sites across both countries to cater to its growing emphasis on online sales.  

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has catalysed the drive towards e-commerce. Despite the lockdown last year, sales at the Czech IKEA remain more or less the same year on year, according to its annual report: in the financial year starting in September 2019 to the end of August 2020, the company recorded sales of CZK10.3bn (€394mn), down by CZK209bn on a year earlier. The company's profit amounted to CZK1.14bn.

"The result was significantly favourably affected by an increase in online sales of 97.5% compared to last year. The strong increase in online shopping was a significant growth factor, as the total number of visitors to our department stores fell by a tenth during the [coronavirus] quarantine in April and May,” the company said.

According to Finstat.sk data, Slovak IKEA posted a 2% y/y drop in sales to €115mn in 2020; its profit amounted to €10mn in 2020, down by 4% y/y. 

And the company has been playing an active role in society. In 2020, IKEA Slovakia launched the sale of a limited edition STORSTOMMA rainbow bag which was able to “carry everything plants, books, clothes, but not hatred. It's not just a bag, it has a message." The company sent the profits from bag sales to organisations that provide support, services and advice to LGBT+ communities in crisis.

IKEA has also run a campaign against domestic violence in Czechia. At the end of 2020, both the Czech and Slovakia stores launched the new campaign “For safe home” with the tagline “domestic abuse is real, even if it’s not visible”. Domestic violence has increased during the COVID-19 epidemic. The statistics show that 47% of women have experienced some form of domestic violence and IKEA ran TV spots in both countries promoting the campaign in the run-up to Christmas. 

"We believe that the home should be a safe place for everyone, which unfortunately does not always apply. That is why we decided to actively help the victims of domestic violence," commented Equality, Diversity and Inclusion manager, IKEA Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia Roman Bojko.

According to the latest survey carried out by IKEA in Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary Gender Equality Study, only 45% of Czechs believe that Czech society is built on gender equality, while in Slovakia it is 48%. However, the responses of men and women differ significantly. While more than 50% of Czech and Slovak men are convinced of gender equality in their households, it is less than 40% for Czech and Slovak women. 

"If most of the responsibilities of caring for the household are taken over by only one of the partners, it represents an excessive burden, which sooner or later may grow into anxiety, long-term overload and other symptoms. Real equality starts at home,” said Bojko. The study was published on Women Day on March 8. 

Opening up Southeast Europe  

The countries of Southeast Europe are perhaps a decade behind their cousins to the north but IKEA has deemed an increasing number have made enough progress to warrant a store. IKEA has been open for years in the larger markets of Southeast Europe but has been slower to enter the smaller countries in the region such as Slovenia. The company said in 2016 that it aims to have 13 stores in Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia by 2025. 

Romania, the region’s largest consumer market by far, was IKEA’s first destination in Southeast Europe. It opened a 26,000-square metre store at the sprawling Baneasa retail park in the northern outskirts of Bucharest at the peak of the mid-2000s boom in 2007. Next to the huge Baneasa Shopping City and surrounded by affluent suburbs, the Bucharest IKEA was a popular destination for residents of Southeast Europe’s largest city. 

In 2019, IKEA opened its second Bucharest store, having already outlined plans for four new stores in the country, in Timișoara, Brașov and Cluj as well as Bucharest. There has also been strong growth in online orders, mainly from customers in major cities, over the last few years. 

IKEA’s real estate division Vastint is also present in Romania, where it is responsible for the buildings with the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications in the country with the Business Garden Bucharest and Timpuri Noi Square developments. 

However, IKEA became embroiled in a land dispute when it bought some forests from controlled by Harvard University’s investment fund; Harvard had been accused of buying some of its land in transactions that were later challenged by the Romanian authorities, who said state-owned forests were illegally reclassified as private property through a restitution programme intended to return land nationalised by the communists to the former owners. IKEA-owned Ingka Investments was later taken to court in Romania. According to the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), IKEA has bought 50,000 hectares of forest in Romania, making it the country’s largest private landowner.

IKEA entered the Bulgarian market in 2011, with a store in Sofia, and also has smaller “order centres” with limited product ranges and where people can pick up mail orders in the regional cities of Burgas and Plovdiv, and it opened an 8,000-square metre store in Varna last year. Greek investor Fourlis holds the IKEA franchise for Bulgaria along with Greece and Cyprus. This year, Fourlis plans to open a store in Mall of Sofia in central Sofia. According to a press release from Fourlis, like the Varna store, the new Sofia store will be one of the “new generation” of small and medium-size stores in urban centres the group is setting up. 

Croatia was the third Southeast European country to get an IKEA store, which opened in August 2014 just outside Zagreb, the year after the country joined the EU. This was seven years after the Swedish retailer set up its Croatian subsidiaries. At the time, the store was one of the biggest in Europe.

IKEA’s first Serbian store opened in August 2017 in Bubanj Potok, Belgrade. To illustrate the significance of the company’s arrival, President Aleksandar Vucic wrote in a comment for daily Alo ahead of the opening that IKEA’s arrival in Serbia is important not only because of the investment and new jobs, but also because it brings changes to the “old … parts of mentality, collective laziness and resistance to chances as well as to a life philosophy which has been repeated often to wait someone else to do something for us”.

There are now plans for a 40,000-square metre retail park in Belgrade  originally due to open by the end of 2020 as well as new stores in Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Nis, as part of a wider expansion in Southeast Europe. 

Slovenia was the latest country in the region to get an IKEA store, which opened on February 25, 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IKEA initially announced the opening of a store in Ljubljana for the end of 2020, but the plans were postponed due to the COVID-19 restrictions. IKEA had been mulling an online-only launch but went ahead with the physical store opening when the government eased restrictions in March. 

"Today's opening of the store confirms IKEA's commitment to Slovenia and paves the way for further business development in our newest market," the CEO of IKEA Southeast Europe, Sara Del Fabbro, said at the inauguration in Ljubljana's BTC City shopping district, according to a press release from the mall. “Today, when we face challenges like never before, we are thrilled to be able to welcome our first customers in Ljubljana. The fact that we can help Slovenians realise their great dreams and wishes in life at home is our greatest reward and privilege.”

The launch took place just nine days after Slovenia allowed non-essential shops to reopen. The government started to ease restrictions on February 15 after the number of new infections stabilised in recent weeks after reaching a peak in early January. 

The opening was a restrained affair compared to the huge queues outside the first Moscow IKEA that opened back in 2000, the deadly stampede at a store opening in Saudi Arabia or the stabbing when a new store opened in Edmonton, North London. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, IKEA has introduced a special system for visiting the store: in the first few weeks, customers must book an appointment in advance.

None of the smaller countries in the Western Balkans have IKEAs yet, and there seems no immediate prospect of this happening, given their small populations and relatively low incomes. However, future openings have been considered; on the opening of the Serbian store in 2017, Stefan Vanoverbeke, country manager of IKEA for Southeast Europe, mentioned the possibility of opening in Bosnia & Herzegovina at some point. 

IKEA-the-furthest

Uzbekistan is home to Alexandria-the-furthest, the most distant of the string of eponymous cities founded by Alexander the Great on his epic travels, and was rumoured to become the location of what could be called IKEA-the-furthest.  

Tashkent regional governor Davron Khidoyatov served up what seemed to be some great economic news to Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev during an investment presentation Swedish giant IKEA, he declared in March, was set to build a $52mn furniture factory in Chirchik, outside Tashkent.

Except it turned out not to be true.  

It seems that the governor had got ahead of himself and IKEA said they were not planning a store in Uzbekistan until 2025. But the hype surrounding Khidoyatov’s comments both highlights the badge of honour of becoming home to the yellow and blue building, and also is a comment on the “IKEA development index.” There has been a lot of excitement over Uzbekistan’s opening up and as by far the most populous country in Central Asia with 34mn people, it is an obvious destination for IKEA. But despite the obvious potential of the country, as the GDP per capita is still only $1,724, according to the World Bank – a tenth of Russia’s $11,585 or Romania’s $12,919 in unadjusted terms – it is still very early for the furniture giant’s arrival. The Uzbek middle class is yet to emerge.  

By contrast, Kazakhstan is much further advanced and the GDP per capita of $9,812 means that a middle class is already well established. But the country’s population of only 18.5mn puts it on the small side.  

There was a lot of talk about IKEA entering the Kazakh market in the early noughties when a retail and residential construction boom took off, driven by demand from the new middle class. Bne IntelliNews’ correspondent reports that there were rumours IKEA had got as far as looking at two sites on the Almaty ring-road, but found the land prices too high. In the meantime, Kazakhs can still buy IKEA’s goods online from a few companies not affiliated with IKEA that will accept orders and have them sent to Kazakhstan.  

IKEA's New Europe Empire

Poland

1990

Janki (near Warsaw)

11

There are three stores in Warsaw and one per Gdańsk, Wrocław, Katowice, Kraków, Poznań, Łódź, Bydgoszcz and Lublin. A store is being built in Szczecin, due to open in 2021.

Czech Republic (then part of Czechoslovakia)

1991

Budějovická (Prague)

4

There are two IKEA stores in Prague and one concept store: one at Zličín and one at Černý Most; both Zličín and Černý most are located on the periphery of Prague. The concept store was located on Wenceslas Square. The first original store at Budějovická - Prague 4 was abandoned [when?]. Outside Prague there are two locations - in the country's second largest city, Brno, and in Ostrava. There are three stores planned within six years (Plzeň, Hradec Králové and a third location in Prague). In 2018 a concept store was opened on Wenceslas Square in downtown Prague and was closed at the end of 2019.

Serbia (then part of Yugoslavia)

1991

Belgrade

1

The first IKEA store in present-day Serbia was opened in 1991, but was closed in 1992 due to UN sanctions over Yugoslavia.[37] IKEA returned after 25 years and officially opened its first store on August 10, 2017.[38][39] IKEA plans to develop a 40,000-square metre retail park in Belgrade, in addition to the department store in Bubanj Potok[40] and furthermore, open one more department store in the Serbian capital and three more stores in the cities of Novi Sad, Kragujevac and Niš, for which the land has already been acquired back in 2013. The Belgrade IKEA office is the regional centre for former Yugoslavia and Romania.

Slovakia (then part of Czechoslovakia)

1992

Bratislava

1

Original store was closed upon the opening of a new store in the Avion Shopping Park. There are two more stores planned in Slovakia, in Košice and Žilina.

Russia

2000

Khimki (near Moscow)

14

Fourth market by revenue after Germany, the U.S. and Sweden. There are 3 IKEA stores in Moscow (Khimki, Teply Stan and Belaya Dacha), 2 stores in St. Petersburg (Parnas and Dybenko), stores in Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Novaya Adygea (in Adygea near Krasnodar), Samara, Omsk and Ufa. The IKEA stores in Russia are in connection with MEGA malls developed by IKEA. 5-6 new openings are planned by 2020.

Turkey

2005

Istanbul

7

There are three stores in Istanbul (Bayrampaşa, Kartal and Ümraniye), one store in İzmir (Bornova), one store in Bursa (Osmangazi), one store in Ankara (Mamak) and one store in Antalya (Kepez).

Romania

2007

Bucharest

2

26,000-square metre (280,000 sq ft) store opened on March 21, 2007, in Băneasa retail park.[50] A second, 37,000-square metre (400,000 sq ft) store was opened in Bucharest on June 24, 2019.[51] Stores planned to open in Timișoara, Brașov and Cluj-Napoca.

Bulgaria

2011

Sofia

1

IKEA opened its first store in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on September 20, 2011 [60] IKEA additionally runs three smaller stores called "order centres" with limited selections on location in Varna, Burgas and Plovdiv. These stores also serve as online order pick up locations for deliveries from the main store in Sofia.[61]

Lithuania

2013

Vilnius

3

First IKEA in the Baltics. The first IKEA store in Lithuania was opened on August 14, 2013 in Vilnius. It has a capacity of 26,000 square metres and is also considered to be one of the best projects in the history of IKEA. The store is located near Vilnius International Airport.[69][70] The second and the third stores are located in Klaipėda[71] and Kaunas.[71]

Croatia

2014

Zagreb

1

The first IKEA in Croatia[77] opened its doors on 21 August 2014 and with a total area of 38,000 sq metres (410,000 sq ft) is one of the five biggest in Europe and among 10 biggest IKEA stores in the world.[78]

Latvia

2018

Riga

1

The first store in Latvia was opened on 30 August 2018 in Stopiņi near Riga.[95][96]

Estonia

2019

Tallinn

1

IKEA Estonia launched its online store as well as its first brick-and-mortar location, a limited showroom and pickup point, in the Lasnamäe district of Tallinn on 29 August 2019.[98] However, the first full-sized store is planned to be opened in 2023 at Kurna village in Rae Parish, outside of Tallinn area.[99]

Ukraine

2020

Kyiv

1

Multiple pick-up points and the online store with delivery.[100]

Slovenia

2021

Ljubljana

1

First IKEA store in Slovenia was opened on February 25, 2021 next to BTC shopping city in Ljubljana.[102]

source: Wikipedia

 

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