FY20 will go down in history an exceptional year, in so many ways. Never have we been so challenged. Never have I been so proud. It has been incredible to see over 166,000 entrepreneurs come together around our purpose, putting people at the heart of everything we do and adapt so quickly to meet the new needs of our customers. We will look back on FY20 and say that this was the most important year for IKEA in recent times.
Through the many challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, we stayed true to the IKEA vision and stood with the many people, supporting communities and providing income stability for our co-workers. We collaborated with over 1,000 government agencies and NGO’s to support those leading the emergency response and to those particularly affected – elderly, children, homeless, refugees, families living in poverty and victims of domestic violence.
A year of life at home
The pandemic has disrupted and affected every aspect of people’s lives at home. With almost a third of the world’s population asked to stay at home, homes now have to fulfil more functions, solve more problems – often all at the same time. People’s needs and dreams are getting bigger, but for many, wallets are also getting thinner. The demand for affordable, well-designed, functional, sustainable and good quality home furnishing makes IKEA more relevant than ever, and this is an opportunity for us to better serve our customers and live up to our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people.
Before Covid-19, we were already well on track with our transformation to become a more affordable, accessible and sustainable company, ready to meet customer needs in more channels and better ways. When the pandemic led to more demand for online shopping and convenient delivery services, we stepped up our efforts, accelerating our digital capabilities and repurposing stores to fulfilment units. There has been remarkable work done within digital and store fulfilment, and we have taken big steps towards creating a new physical and digital infrastructure that can take our omnichannel capabilities to the next level. At the same time, we opened 26 new IKEA locations and accelerated our expansion in big cities. FY20 will be remembered as one of the most entrepreneurial years in IKEA history.
Building back better
Our commitment to make sustainable living affordable for the many people, and become a climate positive business, is stronger than ever before. As much as the pandemic has changed our lives, the climate crisis could have a much larger impact on people’s health and economy. We are entering the most important decade in the history of mankind and the world needs leadership and climate action. Actions speak louder than words and we will continue to act for a green recovery, to build back better and drive change when it comes to the challenges of inequality and resource scarcity. Together with our partners and stakeholders in the EU Green Recovery Alliance, we have made one clear promise: that the social and economic recovery from the coronavirus outbreak will be focused on creating a resilient, climate neutral economy.
Our vision and values guide us into the future
It really has been a year like no other. The pandemic has given us perspective. It has challenged our homes, our business and our priorities and continues to impact all of us in many ways. To all my colleagues, I want to thank you for your patience, hard work and big heart. You make me proud to be part of this team.
Even if we have been put to the test, it’s clear that our purpose is what unites us. We have experienced the true power of our culture and values, as we navigated uncharted territories without a map, but with a strong compass.
As we look forward to FY21, I feel very optimistic. I believe optimism is a choice and a mindset. It’s a force of good. And in the end, it is only optimists who change the world for the better. We are more determined than ever to create a better everyday life for the many people, at a time when home has become more important than ever. Together, we will roll up our sleeves, get things done and make dreams come true. After all – that’s what entrepreneurs do!
President and CEO, Ingka Group