Despite countless reports to the contrary, Ikea is not selling its vast inventory on Amazon. It’s actually not selling anything on Amazon.
In fact, the sparse selection of Ikea items that bloggers claim are new on the site–including a lamp, some children’s bowls, and a Frakta bag–have in many cases been there for years, listed by third party resellers. And those resellers do not appear to be operating under some cloak and dagger operation for Ikea, either.
“No the products are not placed there with initiative from IKEA,” a spokesperson told Co.Design.
So what’s going on? Where did this rumors start? Last week, Reuters reported that Ikea customers “may soon” be able to buy its flat pack furniture and other goods “through the likes of Amazon.” That was apparently based upon comments by IKEA Chief Executive Torbjorn Loof, who admitted, “There is a rapid change in the market where much of what we have learned and what we know of is changing radically.” Then he added, “I leave unsaid on which (platforms), but we will test and pilot, to see…what does digital shopping look like in future…”
Loof did not disclose which partners Ikea was considering as partners. And he specified that no contracts had been signed yet. From this report, it seems a “patient zero” blogger noticed some Ikea-branded goods on Amazon and assumed they were part of a new partnership. The echo chamber took things from there.
Even still, if some Ikea goods are already on Amazon, does a potential partnership between Ikea and Amazon matter at all? In short, definitely. The Ikea furnishings on Amazon are remarkably limited, and are mostly the sorts of small, easily-shipped things you’d expect. There is no flat pack furniture that we see.
Ikea sells a lot of furniture; it’s the largest furniture manufacturer in the world. Meanwhile, Amazon sells a lot of just about everything but furniture–mostly because furniture is very hard and expensive to ship. That said, Amazon is expanding its warehouse infrastructure to support the furniture business, and it’s probably capable of taking as sizable a chunk as anyone. After all, Amazon is now close to being the biggest fashion retailer in the U.S.
For Ikea and Amazon to join forces would be a massive business play. In theory. Another spokesperson explained that Ikea’s current plans to be sold on other platforms were “pretty minimal and just in test stages.”
We’ve pasted Ikea’s official statement on partnerships below:
At IKEA we are curious and want to explore new areas and get new insights on how to reach and serve more of the many people. One part of that is that we are open to the idea of piloting and testing making IKEA products accessible through other online platforms than our own.
And our main focus remains of course with our existing sales channels, including IKEA.com and stores, where a lot of exciting development is going on.