Swedish furniture chain Ikea seems to lower its dependence on large stores, one of its characteristics. For the future, it wants to use different types of stores in different locations.
Three new formats
Ikea had always used large stores on the edge of urban centers, but it has now also opened several smaller stores right in the heart of a city, like in Hamburg, Pamplona, Norwich and Quebec.
Its smallest stores are mostly "pick-up points" for online orders, although a small product range is also available in those stores. CEO Peter Agnefall told the Financial Times it plans to open 12 of this type of stores in both Australia and Canada.
Its second format consists of stores that are about half the size of its current large stores. These are cheaper to build, but also a perfect fit for cities that do not have the space or customer base for its typical stores. Zwolle, in the Netherlands, has such a store.
Urban stores and bikes
Hamburg is the location of Ikea's third format, in the middle of a traffic-free zone. The store has Ikea's entire product range, but also offers people the use of a bike to get the products home more easily.
Agnefall confirms not every store format is assured to be a success and that it is mostly trial & error to see which format will fail. Once that has been established, Ikea can further develop, he feels.