STOCKHOLM, Dec 17 (Reuters) - IKEA, the world's biggest furniture retailer, said on Wednesday it would begin raising prices in Russia due to the recent sharp fall in the rouble.
Swedish-based IKEA, which reports in euros, has 14 stores and 14 shopping centres in Russia and has plans to invest heavily to expand in a market it has identified as an important source of future growth.
"We are reviewing prices and there will be a gradual change as of tomorrow due to the turbulence around the rouble," said IKEA spokeswoman Josefin Thorell.
In a first step, IKEA would raise prices on storage furniture and kitchens, she said, adding IKEA's expansion plans in Russia were unaffected by the currency crisis and economic downturn.
"We always take a long-term view on all our investments and on how we develop a business," she said.
Russia accounted for 7 percent of sales for the IKEA Group in its most recent fiscal year and was its fourth-largest market.
The Russian currency has come under heavy selling pressure this week, forcing the central bank to increase its key interest rate by an unexpected 650 basis points, an emergency move that did little to buttress the currency. (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Simon Johnson and David Holmes)