Interview with Per Kaufmann

IKEA, one of the world’s largest retailers, has been expanding its Russian operations over the years. The head of IKEA Russia and CIS, Per Kaufmann, says the company will continue to put cash into one of its biggest investment projects.

“We are keeping on investing and that will probably be the case for quite a while”, he said.

The Swedish retailer is not only opening more of what it calls ‘normal IKEA stores’ but is also building mega-shopping centres in Russia, and they cost a lot of money.

But Ikea believes the investment will pay off as the Russian middle class continues to grow. 

“There has been enormous development of the purchasing power from 2000 up until now,” Mr Kaufmann said.

He added that doing business in Russia is different from trading in Western Europe.  But changes in Russian in legislation mean the gap is narrowing, he said.