* Brodin now responsible for range, supply chain development
* Brodin to take on CEO job in September
* IKEA in drive to adapt to rapidly changing retail market
(Adds comments by company, retail consultancy, background)
By Anna Ringstrom
STOCKHOLM, May 24 IKEA Group has promoted
company veteran Jesper Brodin to take over as chief executive as
it steps up efforts to integrate its furniture stores and online
Brodin, 48, has worked at IKEA for 22 years and is currently
head of range and supply chain development. He will become CEO
in September after his predecessor Peter Agnefjall, 46, said he
was resigning after four years in the top job.
Consultancy Kantar Retail's Simon Johnstone said Brodin, who
is Swedish, was a good choice given his immersion in the culture
of the company.
"His challenge will be making IKEA more accessible to more
people, while accommodating how people want to shop," he said.
The web of companies that make up IKEA has recently focused
ownership of retail operations, which also include shopping
centres and food retail, on IKEA Group. Supply chain management
and design has transferred to brand owner and franchisor Inter
Hopes are that with IKEA Group focusing fully on retail, it
will be better placed to defend its market-leading position and
maintain growth as competition and consumer expectations evolve.
While sticking to its strategy to keep prices low with large
out-of-town stores and self-assembly of products, IKEA is
testing new store formats such as smaller downtown stores and
pickup-points, as well as rolling out online.
Agnefjall, another Swede who became CEO in 2013, said that
after his two decades at the group he felt it was a natural time
to do something else but that he would start by taking a break.
"Peter Agnefjall had a clear directive to expand into new
markets, whilst continuing to deliver strong financial results.
In that respect it is mission accomplished for Agnefjall," said
Kantar Retail's Johnstone.
Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, chairman of parent company INGKA
Holding, told Reuters that Brodin would need to focus hard on
integrating stores, new store concepts and e-commerce services.
IKEA Group plans to have e-commerce in nearly all its
markets by year-end and expects online sales to keep roughly
doubling every two years.
($1 = 0.8938 euros)
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, additional reporting by Helena
Soderpalm; Editing by Mark Potter and Keith Weir)