Board changes and new UK store planned by Ikea

Mathias Kamprad has been appointed chairman of the board of Inter Ikea Holding SA, the holding company of Inter IK Group.

Board changes and new UK store planned by Ikea

Mathias replaces Per Ludvigsson, who has decided to retire at the age of 70.

Prior to Mathias’ new appointment as chairman, he served as director of the board. “I feel honoured and excited,” Mathias said. “We have an experienced board team that together covers the needs of all divisions, and for me it is a privilege to be part of that team.”

Hans Gydell has been appointed vice chairman of the board.

Mathias’ father Ingvar Kamprad founded the furniture and housewares retailer in 1943 at the age of 17, in Småland in Sweden. “I’m happy and proud that Mathias has accepted to become chairman of the board of Inter Ikea Group,” Ingvar said in a statement. “Mathias is well prepared for his new assignment. I’m also happy that Hans Gydell has accepted to become vice chairman of the board.”

He continued: “I see this as a good time for me to leave the board of Inter Ikea Group; we are taking another step in the generation shift that has been ongoing for some years, adding, “This does however not mean that I will stop working.”

Mathias’ older brothers are also engaged in the family’s business.

The Ikea Group operates a total of 298 Ikea stores in 26 countries/territories. Ikea UK has 18 stores and Ikea Ireland has 1 store.

The company recently announced its intention to open a new outlet in Sheffield. The 37,000sq m store would sell the full Ikea range of products, which comprises 9,500 products, and would create up to 400 jobs.

Ian Nicholson, Ikea Sheffield project manager, said: “We are really excited about the prospect of bringing Ikea’s value for money home furnishings offer to Sheffield. We have been looking for a site in South Yorkshire for many years now, as currently our customers in this area have to travel quite far to either Leeds or Nottingham to shop with us.

“An Ikea store in Sheffield will be a major boost to the whole city, not just in terms of jobs, but also by adding to the total retail offer. As is the case in cities across the UK, our store would complement, not compete with, the city centre retail offer.”

In 2012, Ikea was granted planning consent from West Berkshire Council to build the 19th store in the UK in Calcot, Reading.

Earlier this week Ikea announced total sales of £1.23billion in the UK for the financial year ending August 31 2012, representing a total increase of 6.3% in like-for-like sales and the biggest growth seen in six years. Online like-for-like sales increased by 24.9%, achieved after a further 1500 products were made available to buy online following consumer demand.

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