Ikea Gives Sneak Peek at First Web Store

International furniture retailer Ikea has given Swedish Internet users a sneak preview of its first Web store.

Scheduled to coincide with the Swedish release of the annual Ikea catalog, the Web store will be officially launched on August 7, Framfab AB, the Stockholm-based Web services company that built the site, said in a statement.

Ikea Sweden initially will offer around 700 products through the Web store, which can be viewed at at http://www.ikea.se/.

The site is the first in a series that is planned to cover most of Ikea's international markets. "This is the first launch in a long continued effort within Ikea to embrace the Internet and e-commerce," Nils Larsson, Ikea Sweden's Internet manager, said in the statement.

Ikea was founded in 1943 by Swedish entrepreneur Ingvar Kamprad. Inter Ikea Systems BV is the Netherlands-based owner and franchisor of the international chain of Ikea stores, spanning 30 countries worldwide.

The privately held company reported total sales of 16.95 billion Dutch guilders (US$7.1 billion) for its 1998/99 financial year, according to information from the company's Web site.

Ikea's global Web site can be found at http://www.ikea.com/. Framfab, in Stockholm, is at http://www.framfab.com.

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