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Maria Andersson

Centre Manager

“I see that I can constantly create new ways to grow.”

How did you get started in IKEA and what have you done so far?
I worked with fashion retail for 20 years before coming to IKEA Centres two years ago. I have always had a passion for sales and customers. When I started as a centre manager I had to learn a lot more about building relationships and working together with the tenants. I have developed myself in a way. I really like it because in my work today I can work very broadly, so no two days look the same.

Why did you want to work with IKEA?
I grew up in a village near Älmhult, so IKEA was part of my childhood. IKEA is one of the most attractive employers in Sweden, so when I got the chance to try something new and it was for IKEA I really thought it would be a good opportunity. I also knew that it could lead to other possibilities in the future. So today I’m really satisfied to be where I am. But I also know that if I would like to know a little bit more about the world in the future I will have the opportunity.

What are the most inspiring responsibilities or tasks you have in your current role?
For me, I really have the passion to work closely with our tenants. It’s fun to create something with them that inspires customers to visit us. The visit starts in the parking area and we need to work with the environment the whole way from parking into shopping centre, while also inspiring people to visit IKEA. The biggest thing we work with is to create meeting places for all people, where they can have great experiences when they visit us. I also get inspired by our team in the shopping centre and how we work together, support one another and involve each other in different tasks.

What advice would you give someone thinking about this job?
It’s important to always put the customer focus first, both for the tenants and for the visitors. Everything you do should be for the customers. You should always ask yourself, “Is this good for the tenants or customers?” It’s important to involve them in the process and work together.

What is your favourite aspect of the IKEA culture and values?
I really love the humbleness and willpower. I also like that you talk about values in the everyday work. You can discuss if you are on the right track. When you make a decision as a leader, you can ask yourself whether you are leading by example. If yes, you should do it. I think that it’s my responsibility to make the values come alive in our work. Because if you don’t do that as a leader it will only be words on the wall. It’s important to work together and include all the people you work with.

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