Here’s how Ikea plans to take on Wayfair
Ikea is accelerating its plans to ramp up e-commerce by establishing a new distribution center in Florida.
The company has leased additional warehouse space in Lakeland, Fla., to serve as a distribution center supporting the Tampa, Orlando and Miami markets. The new DC, at 326,000-sq.-ft., is smaller than its stores in Florida, and roughly one third to half the size of the typical Amazon FC.
“As we grow our e-commerce presence, we want to provide our customers with shorter lead times and a higher-quality experience when shopping at IKEA,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. President. “The new distribution center in Lakeland provides opportunity to optimize customer accessibility in the Southeast and allows us to continue meeting the home furnishing needs of our customers.”
The Ikea DC in Lakeland is currently planned to open in early 2019. This project represents the sixth IKEA location in the state of Florida and is expected to bring 200 jobs to the Tampa area. The fulfillment center will focus on delivering items to customers who order products online. The site will be operated by DHL Supply Chain, a contract logistics company and a division of Deutsche Post DHL Group.
The new Lakeland facility will also fulfill parcel orders for the entire U.S. Southeast and will strengthen the company’s existing network of nine regional distribution centers while supporting its 48 stores in the U.S., the company says.
Furniture rival Wayfair has also been busy opening distribution centers in Florida and elsewhere, as consumers increasingly get more comfortable with buying furniture online.
Ikea’s announcement comes shortly after the company revealed that it is opening a Midwest distribution center, which is under construction about 30 miles outside of Chicago, Ill.. This DC has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council, a first for IKEA properties in the U.S.
One of the environmentally friendly highlights of the distribution center is its 268,920-square-foot solar array built with 9,036 solar panels. The array, currently the largest in Illinois, will produce approximately 3,377,000 kWh of electricity annually for the facility, the equivalent of reducing 2,513 tons of carbon dioxide which is equal to the emissions of 538 cars or providing electricity for 377 homes yearly.
“Sustainability is a priority for all of our Ikea facilities,” an Ikea spokesperson said in an email when asked if the Lakeland distribution center will have the same sustainability model of the one near Chicago. “We are currently evaluating our options for this building.”