Business and Industry

Outgoing IKEA CEO Says Biggest Challenge is Red Tape

Restrictive laws and regulations hold the company back in many markets

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IKEA is poised to embark on a global spending spree, but its departing chief executive says red tape is hampering how freely the home-furnishings retailer can put its money to work.

CEO Mikael Ohlsson said the amount of time it takes to open a store has roughly doubled in recent years. "What some years ago took two to three years now takes four to six years. And we also see that there's a lot of hidden obstacles in different markets and also within the [European Union] that's holding us back," he said in an interview recently at an IKEA store on Sweden's western coast.

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