IKEA opens its first city store in the heart of Paris

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has announced it will open its first true city centre store in Paris on 6 May. At just 5400 sqm, it will be Ikea's smallest real store ever (excluding pick-up points).

 

Smallest Parisian IKEA ever

The rumour of IKEA's search for a fitting location to put a city centre store in Paris has been around for a few years. This May, IKEA will finally be opening its very first 'small-scale' city store in the Madeleine shopping centre. The chain's eighth sales outlet in and around Paris (out of 34 outlets in France overall) will be the smallest of them all.

 

The city store will only be 5400 sqm in total, divided over two floors: quite a bit smaller than the familiar blue blocks of at least 20,000 sqm. Even the previous city store concept, which IKEA launched in Hamburg and which did have a self-service area, was still 18,000 sqm. The smaller size also means a smaller product range, with 'only' 4100 products available, 1500 of which can simply be taken home from the shelves. In a 'normal' IKEA, that would be respectively 9000 and 4500 references. The store focuses on smaller products: "obviously" according to Walter Kadnar, CEO of IKEA France, when you keep in mind that "half of Parisian apartments are smaller than 45 sqm."

 

Online orders and additional pickup points

Those items that customers can not take home right away, can be ordered online from the store and then be picked up later or delivered at home. The orders are processed in three larger outlets in the same region, as well as in a new distribution centre that opens next month in nearby Gennevilliers.

 

IKEA France is also about to give deliveries a serious boost. Throughout the country, the group wants to quadruple the number of pickup locations for parcels over 20 kg. There are currently 25 of such locations; by August, there should be 100. Smaller parcels can soon be delivered to more than 7000 pickup points.

 

In past years, IKEA has been experimenting with smaller outlets, but usually they were temporary stores centring on a specific theme. Stockholm and London both had IKEA kitchen stores, and Madrid had an IKEA sleeping store for a while. Last year, a Norwegian test focused more on service and delivery points, but it turned out relatively unsuccessful. Rumour has it that the Swedish furniture giant will be opening stores similiar to the Parisian one in Copenhagen this year, and in London next year.