Swedish furniture giant IKEA might soon be returning to Ukraine, though it’s not clear when or how it might happen.

The decision was made by IKEA’s head office in May, according to Forbes UA, citing two shopping center top managers and two commercial real estate consultants.

Another anonymous source told the publication that IKEA’s decision was spurred on by the success of Inditex, a clothing group that owns brands such as Zara, H&M and Pull&Bear, upon their successful return to Ukraine since late 2023.

“The return and success of H&M was an important signal for the head office of IKEA, and they also closely followed the recovery of Inditex,” an anonymous source told the publication.

RBC Ukraine, potentially citing the same anonymous source, said IKEA stores in Ukraine are currently undergoing preparatory work.

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However, there are no timeframes mentioned in all publications.

In April, IKEA’s press office told Delo.ua that it “[remained] highly interested in the Ukrainian market” and was “doing its best to assess the impact of the current situation on potential operations.”

In October 2023, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told a journalist that the ministry was working hard to bring IKEA, H&M, Zara and other brands back to Ukraine.

“I believe that the more international business will work here, the more confidence in victory it will add,” said Kuleba.

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IKEA started its operations in Ukraine by launching an eCommerce service in May 2020, which was temporarily restricted that year.

It opened its first and only store in Ukraine on Feb. 1, 2021, at the Blockbuster Mall in Kyiv, which ceased operations when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

As opposed to most IKEAs worldwide, the store in Kyiv was located in a shopping center instead of a standalone building. This location offers a limited selection of goods and lacks the typical cafeteria offered in other locations.

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“This format is part of the company’s new strategy, aiming to get closer to people in the cities’ downtowns and make our solutions and services for the home even more accessible,” IKEA stated in its press release at the time.

After years of contemplation, IKEA decided to finally enter Ukraine in September 2017, having in plans a 20,000-square-meter store. The plan fell through.

Two years later, in 2019, IKEA announced it would open a 6,000-square-meter store in Kyiv’s Ocean Mall. But since this mall was still under construction, IKEA changed its plans again and finally opened its store in Blockbuster Mall.

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