Swedish home furnishing retailer Ikea Group plans to expand its retail network in China by opening at least three stores annually over next coming years.

The store expansion is part of the company’s long-term commitment to make China its largest market in 15 to 20 years.

Ikea China’s deputy retail manager Colin Renwick was quoted by ChinaDaily.com.cn as saying that the company is accelerating the retail expasnion after gaining a deep understanding of the Chinese market through the successful experience of their Beijing and Shanghai stores.

"Now we are going to more second-tier cities to meet the increasing demand and enthusiasm from people living there," Renwick added.

"Although China is still not our top market in terms of revenue, we are confident that it will be our largest market in 15 to 20 years."

Ikea currently has 11 stores in China and more than 40 stores in Germany.

By the end of 2014, the home furnishings retailer intends to have 17 stores across the country, following the opening of a new outlet in Ningbo, a third store in Shanghai and a second store in Beijing.

The retailer will also start the construction of stores in Chongqing and Wuhan later in 2012, Renwick added.

Ikea’s revenues for fiscal 2012 were more than CNY5.4bn ($852m), up 21%, compared to last year.