Ikea has decided to stop selling on Amazon after a U.S. pilot to sell its Smart Lighting products, launched in 2018, ended, a spokesperson with Ingka Group, the retailer's parent company, confirmed to Retail Dive. Furniture Today first reported the news.
"We are curious and keen on exploring new areas to get new insights on how to reach and serve more of the many people," a spokesperson told Retail Dive in an email. "The project was a trial and after it ended, it did not go live. We will continue to dialogue with different partners to test new ways to meet our customers now and in the future, whenever and wherever they want."
- This follows other brands leaving the platform in recent years; Birkenstock in 2016 said it would no longer sell its products on Amazon after a surge in counterfeit sales, and Nike in November 2019 announced it was exiting the platform.
Amazon may be becoming a less attractive platform for brands due to several factors, including lack of control and counterfeits. The latter prompted the American Apparel & Footwear Association in October 2019 to recommend that the U.S. Trade Representative office flag some of Amazon's sites as "notorious markets" for the second year in a row.
Ikea didn't specify what marketplaces it will work with in the future, if any, though that may indicate it has something else in the works. In February 2019, the Swedish furniture retailer teased the idea of creating its own marketplace, which would include selling its rivals' products, according to a Financial Times report.
Brooklinen a couple months ago launched its own marketplace, "Spaces," which includes a curated selection of products from other brands, ranging from independent designers to artisans. Launching its own marketplace may allow Ikea to venture into other product categories it has yet to explore and benefit from receiving a portion of proceeds from other brands selling on the platform.
The furniture retailer has undergone a transformative year: Ikea announced in April 2019 it would expand its furniture leasing option — which it first tested earlier that year in Switzerland — to 30 markets in 2020. Ikea also unveiled a smaller store concept in New York's Upper East Side. The merchandise-free urban planning studio spans 17,350 square feet, a much smaller footprint than its warehouse-like counterpart consumers are accustomed to, and offers customers the opportunity to sit down with Ikea design consultants to plan projects. And later this year, Ikea will open a new store concept in New York's Queens borough, marking its third location in the city and further indicating its plan to entice urban-millennials.