IKEA Shopping List During Covid: Work Desks and Kitchen Gear

IKEA reported a drop in annual sales blaming store closures early in the coronavirus pandemic but said consumers have flocked to its stores since lockdowns lifted to buy desks, chairs and kitchens.

About 75% of the furniture retailer’s stores were closed for between seven to 10 weeks because of coronavirus lockdowns. That resulted in visits to IKEA stores falling nearly 16% for its fiscal year, and lower revenue from its restaurants, which typically make up about 5% of sales.

Overall, Ingka Group—the largest IKEA franchisee and operator—on Tuesday reported sales of €35.2 billion, equivalent to $41.5 billion, for the 12 months to Aug. 31, down from €36.7 billion a year earlier. It didn’t disclose profit figures.

Chief Executive Jesper Brodin said in an interview that consumption trends around the world had been similar through the pandemic. Early on, shoppers bought desks, office chairs and cooking equipment. Interest then moved toward home organization items such as shelving and baskets. Demand for kitchens was also high, with people taking advantage of time at home to install them.

IKEA said online sales make up 18% of the company’s overall revenue. A company’s store in Shanghai in July.



Photo:

alex plavevski/EPA/Shutterstock

“Lately, we see a lot of interest in beautification,” said Mr. Brodin. “A lot of people are taking the opportunity to update their homes.”

The comments echo those from rival

Home Depot Inc.,

which in August posted its strongest quarterly sales growth in nearly 20 years, saying the home had never been more important to consumers than during the pandemic.

IKEA said online sales grew 60% and now make up 18% of the company’s overall revenue, up from 11% a year ago.

To meet surging online demand, IKEA repurposed its stores to act as fulfillment centers, rolled out click-and-collect at new locations and offered drive-through collection.

It also acquired Geomagical Labs, a startup whose imaging technology allows consumers to decorate and furnish 3-D representations of their homes. In China, IKEA began making its products available on

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

’s Tmall online marketplace—the first time they were sold on a third-party online platform.

Analysts and economists are paying close attention to monthly retail sales numbers as a way to gauge how the economy may be recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Kathy Willens/Associated Press. (Originally Published June 16, 2020)

IKEA said it had benefited from efforts under way before the pandemic to make its products more accessible to people living far away from its stores or who may not have the means to travel to them. Those include opening smaller, city-center stores and investing in improving its online delivery and click-and-collect services. Mr. Brodin said such efforts “suddenly became a survival line” once Covid-19 hit.

However, IKEA ran into trouble in the U.S., where online customers complained of struggling to place, track and receive orders. The company also said it had been caught off guard by level of demand, resulting in some products being temporarily unavailable.

In response, IKEA

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L.A. County restrictions on indoor shopping centers are unjust, mall lawsuit alleges

The operator of a sports apparel store in Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County in an effort to ease countywide restrictions on operating businesses in indoor malls during the COVID-19 pandemic.



a store inside of a building: The Pro Image Sports store in Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance sells sports apparel. (Daisy Rivas / Pro Image Sports)


© (Daisy Rivas / Pro Image Sports)
The Pro Image Sports store in Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance sells sports apparel. (Daisy Rivas / Pro Image Sports)

Also objecting to the limits is the largest owner of indoor malls in the county, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, which called the county’s restrictions that are now stricter than state guidelines an “undue hardship” on the company and its store tenants.

In a proposed class-action lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the owner of Rivas Sports Inc. said it was unfair for the county to shutter “nonessential” businesses like hers that have their front doors inside of an enclosed mall.

Stores in shopping centers that have their own doors to the outside can still operate under safety guidelines issued by the county in May as pandemic-related restrictions on businesses were eased. Interior mall stores were allowed to operate at 50% occupancy until they were closed by the state in July as infections surged.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Aug. 28 unveiled a plan that allowed Los Angeles County to reopen stores and malls at 25% capacity, but county officials opted to keep most stores inside malls closed. Hair and nail salons can reopen countywide with limited service.

Rivas Sports owner Daisy Rivas said she is willing to follow the state rules, which would mean allowing only eight customers at a time inside her Pro Image Sports shop at Del Amo Fashion Center.

“We have operated safely and followed the government guidelines to the letter of the law, and we are prepared to be fully compliant” with Newsom’s guidance, Rivas said. “Yet without a single word of explanation by the county, they continue to shut us down. We and many other small businesses need our stores open in order to survive.”

The lawsuit was filed by Rivas on behalf of other retailers together with the owner and manager of Del Amo Fashion Center, an affiliate of Simon Property Group. Indianapolis-based Simon is one of the largest mall operators in the country.



A handful of people shop at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance on Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020, after officials had cautioned the public to keep a safe distance from other people to avoid infections of COVID-19. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)


© (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
A handful of people shop at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance on Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020, after officials had cautioned the public to keep a safe distance from other people to avoid infections of COVID-19. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

“This blatantly unconstitutional act prevents interior mall stores from operating, crushing their businesses, denying their employees of their livelihoods, and laying waste to their businesses,” the plaintiffs said in their complaint filed with the court.

The county’s public information office said it would not comment on pending litigation, but released this statement:

“From the onset of the pandemic, Los Angeles County has been intensely committed to protecting

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Harajuku is getting a new shopping complex with a rooftop vertical garden

It may have been a while since you last walked through Jingumae, Shibuya’s popular shopping district that’s normally teeming with people in pre-pandemic times. So long, perhaps, that you wouldn’t have seen an entire street corner being cleared of buildings on the main crossing between Harajuku and Omotesando. The corner, which was once home to the Condomania store before it was relocated, will soon host a brand new shopping complex, set to open in 2022. 

Harajuku

 

Photo: Tokyu Land Corporation

 


The shopping centre, whose name is still undecided, is part of the neighbourhood’s redevelopment project, following the construction of Harajuku’s new train station and the upscale With Harajuku mall. The new building, designed by architect Akihisa Hirata, will be 12 storeys high, including two basement levels. From the artist’s rendering, it looks like the top floors will be reserved for a multi-level terrace featuring a vertical garden – something Hirata often incorporates into his projects. 

Harajuku

 

Photo: Tokyu Land Corporation

 


While the structure is expected to take up 3,085sqm on street level, it will have a total floor area of 19,930sqm. Similar to the photogenic entrance of Harajuku’s Tokyu Plaza, the new facility will feature mirror-like panels on its facade, which we think will make it an Instagram hit when it opens.

 

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Tips For Shopping For Cotton Bathroom Rugs

Finding cotton rugs isn’t rocket science. All you have to do is type “cotton bathrom rugs” into a search engine and voila you’ll have thousands of results from online and offline stores. Any one of these suppliers will be more than happy to sell you anything you wish from their selection or rugs.

So the first step in finding the perfect cotton rug for your needs begins with making up your mind about what you’re looking for in the first place. Smart consumers always comparison shop to make sure they’re getting the best deal – even it’s not a big ticket item it’s always a good idea to compare prices in at least 3 different stores. There’s nothing worse than finding the same product at 50% off in another store one hour after you bought it.

Another important thing to consider when shopping for cotton bathroom rugs is the importance of safety. More accidents occur in the bathroom than in any other room in the home. It does not matter how beautiful the colors and design patterns are, if your bathroom rug is not safe, you do not need it. Make sure that the rug you select is slip resistant for you and your children, if you have any. You can always buy slip resistant coating in sheets if you find a rug that you love but doesn’t seem to be safe.

Aside from being slip resistant, you should select a bathroom rug that is water absorbent and quick drying. This creates another hazard if the rug remains wet for a long period of time after you step out of the bath or shower. Taking care of safety in your bathroom is critical; your life could, quite literally, depend on it.

Once you have taken care of safety features, think about the color and design of your cotton bathroom rugs. Many stores and manufacturers offer a wide variety of selections to choose from. Also, you can buy your rug as part of a matching shower curtain and towel set to make sure your bathroom stays consistently beautiful.

You’ll often see rugs advertised as 100% cotton but this isn’t always the truth. Usually you’re buying a cotton blend which is no problem – as long as you’re not paying inflated prices for it. 100% cotton generally costs more, depending on the manufacturer. Even the color can make a huge difference in the price so if it looks to good to be true…. well it probably is folks.

This is why shopping around before making a purchase is the best idea. You will know what to expect and be able to make the right selection based on your own knowledge, not on what the salesperson or store advertising is trying to sell you. Just because the bathroom rugs cost more does not necessarily mean that you are getting the highest quality.

If you decide to make your purchase online, know what the return policy is, and whether or not a warranty is …

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