Conshohocken-based IKEA Pandemic Plan: Bolt Down the Business Model, Ensure That Core Values Aren’t Wrenched Away

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Image via OiMax at Creative Commons.

Conshohocken-based IKEA, like millions of businesses nationwide, found itself in unchartered waters when COVID-19 disrupted its operations. Chris Nace, market manager in Jacksonville, Fla., described the retailer’s responses to Karen Brune Mathis at the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Nace says the home furnishing brand’s four most pressing issues were:

  1. Increased demand
  2. Supply chain issues
  3. Staffing challenges
  4. Revised procedures for customer ordering and pickup

Work-at-home arrangements sent many Americans shopping for office furniture and job-related accessories. The bump in business was good for a retailer like Ikea.

But supply-chain kinks and staffing shortages mitigated the upside.

Online sales technology was initially a little rocky as the pandemic lingered, but IKEA caught up. The retailer even redesigned its parking lot to facilitate convenient pickups.

“If you want to run in and pick [merchandise] up you don’t have to park in the main parking lot, walk all the way around and come in,” Nace said. Or, “…you go to your app, check in, and we’ll bring it right out to you.”

Nace is proud that Ikea didn’t let COVID-19 interfere with its corporate vision. He noted that the company continued making inroads in sustainability and core values, remaining “people and planet positive.”

More on how IKEA navigated the pandemic is at the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Watch IKEA’s video on sustainability: