For months now, IKEA execs have been teasing us with the idea that we could be able to buy all the company’s inexpensive and Swede-chic home furnishings from somewhere like Amazon as soon as next year.
Okay, so IKEA has actually been careful to never specify which third-party online retailers could soon be selling all those Malm desks, Kallax shelving and hip iPhone chargers, but the promise of combining IKEA’s products and pricing with Amazon Prime shipping has redecorating bargain hunters salivating to say the least.
Company spokeswoman Kaisa Lyckdal told the Associated Press this week that the plan is to do a trial run with a third party online outlet in 2018, but that “no decisions are made regarding what platforms/markets will be in the pilot.”
You might be a little confused right now if you’ve searched for IKEA products on Amazon in recent months and had no trouble finding them readily available, with fulfillment by Amazon and Prime shipping, even!
But the reality is that those IKEA items are from third party resellers and often come with a pretty considerable markup in price. The Malm desk I found on Amazon this morning, for example, was fetching $110 more than the list price on IKEA’s online store.
Of course, if I were to buy that same desk direct from IKEA, it would cost me either a $349 shipping charge to get it sent to my house, or I could spend the ten hours driving to get to the nearest IKEA store and back home. Suddenly that 65 percent markup from the reseller on Amazon doesn’t look so insane.
Given these choices, it’s easy to see why the idea of IKEA itself selling its products directly via Amazon with the promise of Prime shipping is so attractive.
But it’s likely to be a little while before that becomes reality for the majority of IKEA addicts who don’t live near a store, or just can’t deal with the crowds. One thing is clear though, and that’s that IKEA wants to become more accessible to the above types of consumers.
If all goes well, maybe we’ll even see Amazon-owned Whole Foods serving those trademark Swedish meatballs and boxing them up for home delivery along with your new bed frame.