In order to better meet the expectations of online shoppers, Ikea is changing its store policy. A new type of inner city shops should become the 'missing link' between its usual large department stores and the web shop.
Advice and inspiration
'Ikea Planning Studio' is a new type of smaller shops in which the home improvement chain focuses on the kitchen and the bedroom. Shoppers can get advice and inspiration in an intimate setting and can then place their order online. The first Planning Studio opened on Tottenham Court Road in central London, measuring only 400 sqm.
Ikea wants to open Planning Studios in ten world cities, including New York and Tokyo. "This is part of the transformation of Ikea", says Javier Quiñones, country retail manager UK and Ireland. "This is only the top of the iceberg. We are looking to open more of this, but also other formats with home furnishing accessories and a food offer." Quiñones points out that about half of the consumers today do not own a car, so it is not easy for them to visit the big Ikea department stores outside the city centres.
Last week, the retailer announced that it wanted to reduce its large stores in mature markets. As e-commerce is gaining momentum, large parts of some of the stores will be converted into distribution hubs for online orders.