Ikea hunts for first national PR agency

Home furnishing giant Ikea is trawling for its first national PR agency after overhauling its in-house communications teams.

The Swedish superstore has already shortlisted three consultancies, with the pitches expected to take place in mid-October.

In the past, Ikea has used agencies on a project basis for campaigns or store openings.

In 2007, it hired Borkowski for a global brand campaign to challenge people to think about the difference between a home and a house.

The news comes just weeks after Ikea-owned Habitat chose The Red Consultancy to market its stores to a wider audience.

Ikea has recently re-organised its five in-house comms staff, merging internal comms, corporate and consumer PR teams. It has decided to hire one agency to handle all the chain's PR needs nationally.

Ikea is using the AAR as an intermediary service to manage the pitch.

The company currently retains agencies separately in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

At the end of August, Ikea announced record sales of EUR21.5bn (£19.1bn), although growth was down from seven per cent the previous year to 1.4 per cent.

Ikea's new chief executive Mikael Ohlsson said it had been a challenging year in which the company had to adapt to changed market conditions.

Ikea is a privately owned family company that employs more than 120,000 people.

It has 267 stores in 25 countries and a further 34 under franchise agreements.

The brand has just kicked off a Christmas soft toy charity campaign with Unicef and Save the Children.

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