During U.S. Housing Slump, Ikea Expansion Slows

Barcelona–The U.S. housing decline–along with lower spending in other countries–has reduced growth at Ikea, the world’s largest home-furnishings retailer, Chief Executive Officer Anders Dahlvig said Wednesday.Ikea, which operates in 37 countries, has felt the effect of reduced economic global growth “quite a lot,” Dahlvig said during a retail conference speech in Barcelona, Spain.In the fiscal year through August, sales rose 14 percent to 19.8 billion euros ($31.3 billion), according to Bloomberg. Ikea’s biggest market was Germany, which comprised 16 percent of its revenue, followed by the U.S., France and Britain.Ikea is focusing on emerging markets such as Croatia, Slovenia and Ukraine for the next few years due to reducing spending in Europe and the U.S.With 260 stores across the globe, Ikea will open more than 20 stores in 2008 and 2009, the CEO said.