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Thu 3 Sep 2020 09:41 AM

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Revealed: what IKEA shoppers in the Middle East were buying during the pandemic

Swedish giant was kept busy as people were forced to turn homes into offices

Revealed: what IKEA shoppers in the Middle East were buying during the pandemic

Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA has revealed its most popular products during lockdown.

And during a time when much of the region was plunged into lockdown, businesses implemented widespread working-from-home initiatives and schools employed distance learning for students, it will come as no surprise to find that sales of home office products “went through the roof”, according to Vinod Jayan, managing director of Al-Futtaim IKEA.

However, as people were forced to spend more time around the house, Jayan revealed that home decorations were also big sellers.

He told Arabian Business: “People really looked at investing in their home, which comes back to the core of our concept, which is basically if you have a better home, you have a better everyday life. What we saw was, we interviewed about 5,000 people and found that 41 percent are using their living rooms to work, so obviously they want that environment to be good.”

Jayan added that, with many unable to travel this summer due to movement restrictions and strict quarantine measures, more people were choosing to spend money on their homes.

“Because of the vacations being cancelled for a lot of people, 52 percent of the people that we interviewed decided to spend some of that money on home furnishing,” he said.

With home baking and cooking in general also proving popular during the initial weeks of curfew, Jayan said that cooking and eating accessories, such as plates, knives and saucepans were also “selling through the roof”. Although he admitted that sofa sales had taken a hit over the past six months.

While the company was already had a double-digit store share of the total sales of the UAE, from a digital perspective, Jayan previously revealed that ecommerce activity increased by five or six times, although this has since plateaued somewhat following the reopening of stores.

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