STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Furniture brand IKEA’s main retail vehicle said on Friday shoppers were returning quickly to its shopping centres after it reopened three in China last week, and one in Germany this week – its first four to open after closures due to the coronavirus.
Ingka Group, which besides most IKEA stores also owns 45 shopping centres in Europe, Russia and China, said visitor numbers were back to 70-80% of year-ago levels in the centres in China, indicating shopper confidence was recovering rapidly.
In the centre in Germany, footfall was at 63% with 40 of 57 tenants open for business.
Ingka said in a statement it had taken various measures to support tenants during closures.
“In addition to waiving rent and service fee charges for all tenants, Ingka Centres has invested in measures to drive e-commerce traffic to their sites, and to help retailers work together to share home-delivery and click-and-collect services,” it said in a statement.
Ingka said it planned to open more centres in the coming days. It has 35 centres that are currently temporarily closed.
A majority of IKEA stores are or have been temporarily closed in recent months. A few stores in Germany and Israel, as well as the one in Wuhan, the city in China where the coronavirus was first discovered, reopened this week. Other stores in China reopened last month and Ingka has said business is back to normal in those.
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by David Evans)