WITH a bigger and more in-depth range of home accessories, the new Ikea store in Kowloon is well set to exploit volume sales. 'For this store, we have allocated a much larger area for home accessories, at around 40 per cent of sales space, and we have a lot of confidence for the sales growth in this area,' said managing director Caroline Mak. According to European statistics, the potential for expansion of this area certainly exists. While Ikea in Hong Kong is currently operating on a sales ratio of 65 per cent furniture to 35 per cent home accessories, in Europe the two are equal. The position of the store also suits the new emphasis on home accessories, according to marketing manager Virginia Li. 'We believe that, with this store, we are reaching the mass market. Therefore, we want to build in all the daily necessities because shoppers don't need furniture every day, but they do need towels, glasses and the like.' All product areas have been expanded. There are now 3,400 items in the Home Accessories department, of which about one-third are completely new. The choice of products is so vast they are arranged in a series of 12 specialty stores, namely rugs, cookware, tableware, glassware, gifts, bed linen, bathroom accessories, fabrics, lighting, frames, storage and a new home-care section. The new section, called Torks and Hangs, emphasises natural materials such as wood and cotton in products such as ironing boards, clothes covers, clothes hangers, wardrobe tidies, brooms and the like. The range manager for home accessories, Anita Law, said this was part of a trend towards simple, basic products which, at the same time, were attractive enough not to be hidden away. On the other hand, she said, there was a contrasting trend towards brightly coloured accessories. In the gift shop, for example, small frosted-glass bottles in a rainbow of colours sell at just $28. Ms Law predicted that Ikea's range of candles would also sell well. 'We have a lot of good designs of candle holders . . . and the demand for candles is increasing,' she said. She had good expectations for the lighting section. It is about three times the size of the Causeway Bay Ikea shop and has 400 different types of light fittings on offer - from chandeliers to pendant lights. Fabrics also start at prices as low as $28 per metre. 'Fabric is a very small department in Ikea but we are launching the sewing service this year. We hope to boost sales in 1996 and we are bringing more and more fabrics in,' Ms Law said. The fourth category she highlighted was frames, of which Ikea has a wide variety of good-quality products at reasonable prices. While most of Ikea's accessories carry low price tags to attract volume sales, there are a few niche areas priced to appeal to a slightly more affluent customer, such as some of the tableware and the high-quality cookware range. In the bedding section, there are more than 100 styles of bed linen. Another strong section is the mini-storage, which underpins the smart solutions throughout the store. 'We believe we are already the market leader. We are maintaining about a 20 per cent increase from last year which is the normal increment and we believe this area will still be one of our main profit contributors,' Ms Law said. Naturally, every item has been cleverly designed and carefully selected to match the colours, shapes and materials of the home furnishing range.