IKEA could be coming to a main street near you

We had a good year for growth: IKEA CEO

The CEO of global furniture behemoth IKEA has told CNBC that store placement is the current focus for the company as it looks for new growth strategies.

"I think the biggest difference now is how we place the stores. A decade ago, or two decades ago, we placed them in highway junctions. Whereas today it's much more important for us to get to places where there is public transportation," CEO Peter Agnefjall told CNBC ahead of the group's yearly results announcement.

The retail group - which rose to global prominence in the 1990s - operates 328 stores located in 28 countries and has traditionally been associated with giant superstores in out of town areas.

Cyrus McCrimmon | The Denver Post | Getty Images

However, Agnefjall's comments add to recent moves by the company to change that strategy. IKEA operates three new pick-up and order points in Spain, Norway and Finland which enable customers to see and buy selected products and collect pre-ordered purchases. Reports state that the company is also looking to trial such an outlet on London's Oxford Street - one of the busiest shopping streets in Europe.

IKEA has also highlighted a move to place stores near popular shopping centers that already have the required transport links. It is in the planning stage to build a store within the inner London suburb of Greenwich - in what would be the nearest IKEA store to the center of the U.K. capital.

Less and less of IKEA's younger consumers have a driving license, Agnefjall said. "They prefer to come to our stores via public means etc. And that means we need to come closer to the people and come closer to the public transportation," he added.

An employee assembles furniture for in-store displays at a new IKEA store in Miami, Florida.
IKEA CEO: Late to online boom but growth ahead

Agnefjall - speaking about the trialing of new store formats - said that IKEA had originally made its outlets like a "big pancake," but saw a need to start to build the components of the store on top of each other.

"(You can) have a smaller parking lot, if you instead can have public transportation. There are many opportunities," he told CNBC.

The IKEA Group - which is not publicly listed - saw total sales increase by 11.2 percent from last year to 31.9 billion euros, according to its report on Thursday. At this stage last year, it reported a 5.9 percent rise in sales to 28.7 billion euros for its financial year. Net income amounted to 3.5 billion euros for the financial year 2015.

Agnefjall also told CNBC that IKEA was growing its online presence after announcing online sales - through the website and apps - exceeded 1 billion euros in the last year.