September 30 (Daily FT) – IKEA, the Swedish-founded global home furnishings and appliances giant, has resumed sourcing from Sri Lanka with a planned increase in the number of products after a lapse of few years giving a big boost for the export sector.
A sourcing team from IKEA Group is in the country to explore trade opportunities between the group and Sri Lankan manufacturers and exporters.
The Export Development Board (EDB) will hold a meeting between IKEA team and interested companies today whilst IKEA team also plans to visit the manufacturing facilities of identified suppliers in Colombo and in the Northern region of Sri Lanka.
In the past Sri Lanka has been an important sourcing location for various products for IKEA and after a break of a few years it has restarted sourcing from the country where supply of wooden furniture is established in the current year.
IKEA has now decided to expand sourcing base in the country by exploring various other categories. They include Home Textiles – Bed textiles, Curtains, Throws, Cushions, Towels, Ceramics – Tableware, Sanitary-ware, Glass – Tableware, Flat glass, Paper – Stationery, Packaging, Natural Fibres – Cane, Palmyra, Water Hyacinth, Banana Fibre, Coir, Metals – Carbon steel, Stainless Steel, Plastics – Injection Moulding, Extrusion and products from social entrepreneurs.
Globally as at June IKEA had 433 stores in 52 countries with a total retail sales worth nearly 39 billion euros (approximately $ 45 billion or Rs. 8 trillion). IKEA has 208 000 co-workers directly employed across the world. Around 957 million customers visited IKEA stores globally in 2018 and during the same year IKEA had more than 2.5 billion online visitors on IKEA websites.
IKEA Range & Supply has been sourcing from South Asia for over 30 years, and in this time brought in many processes and best practices, which have improved the way it works with suppliers and helped to continuously grow our sourcing operations. Today it works with over 50 suppliers in South Asia and have over 50,000 employees working in the supply chain, amounting to around 400,000 in the extended supply chain.
It sources products worth 500 million euros (approximately $ 547 million or nearly Rs. 100 billion) yearly from South Asia. IKEA also works with social entrepreneurs in a program called ‘Next Generation’, reviving local craft and giving the artisans market access in selected IKEA stores. Over 1,200 women in the region are now involved in two projects under the Next Generation projects.
IKEA was founded in Sweden more than 75 years ago and its vision is to ‘Create a better everyday life for the many people’. This vision is achieved by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. Sustainability has been at the root of IKEA›s strategy throughout its evolution.