Swedish retail giants Ikea and H&M are teaming up in London: at Ikea’s Livat shopping centre in Hammersmith, they will open Atelier 100 together. That store exclusively offers products from local designers and artists: co-creation at its best.
An idea factory for designers
When Livat opened in February, Ikea promised it would be more than just a shopping centre: they also set it up to be a place for the community and creativity. Today, the Swedish furniture retailer is turning those words into action by opening Atelier 100, a store and idea factory where Ikea will team up with the H&M Group to recruit promising designers.
Atelier 100 is the first joint venture between the two Swedish giants. The store will not sell their own products, but only designs by small-scale local producers, designers and artists. From home accessories to jewellery to music, everything is welcome – as long as the items are small enough for customers to take them home (without the need for a car).
The store will open in May, but Ikea and H&M are already calling for creative people and designers within a 100 km radius of the store. Those selected will receive up to 10,000 pounds to help turn their ideas into commercially viable products. Participants will also be offered training and mentoring, both from the retailers’ staff and from external experts.
Getting closer to the customer
The initiative marks a new era in which the once-isolated market leaders broaden their horizons and seek to collaborate. To stay ahead of the game nowadays, even giants like Ikea and H&M need to embrace openness: it is an essential key to growth, as described in the new book The Future of Shopping: Re-set Re-made Re-tail by RetailDetail’s own Jorg Snoeck and Pauline Neerman.
“We want to be open to ideas and come closer to the customers“, Camilla Henriksson, global brand innovation manager for H&M, told The Guardian. If you want to continue providing what people want, she adds that it is crucial to appeal to the local population. Talks on the idea had been going on for some time, but the Covid crisis turned out to be the determining factor: Ikea wants to revitalise both affected designers and the high streets. If the project succeeds, more branches will follow in other cities in the future.