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IKEA bolts on kitchen installer Traemand in services shift

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores around the world, has bought the remaining 51% of kitchen installation firm Traemand as part of its strategy to offer customers more services.

Traemand connects customers of the world’s biggest furniture brand with sub-contractors for the planning and installation of IKEA kitchens in the United States, Canada and Britain.

Ingka Group, which bought a 49% stake in U.S.-based Traemand in 2018, declined to disclose a price for the latest purchase.

“The acquisition of Traemand is part of accelerating Ingka Group’s retail transformation, where offering customers an accessible and affordable service is an important part,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Having long relied on customers heading to out-of-town stores and carrying and assembling the goods themselves, IKEA is shifting towards inner-city locations combined with more digital and other services to keep up with changing shopping habits.

IKEA operates through a franchise system, with Ingka Group the biggest franchisee to brand owner Inter IKEA.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Alexander Smith