Oftentimes a trip to IKEA requires some mental preparation. Once you start, there is no escape.
Each shopping trip is kind of an adventure to avoid getting lost in a continual maze. The stores are specifically designed to be a labyrinth of showrooms to maximize spending. However, it appears that IKEA may going back to the drawing board.
They new redesign of the store may include clear directions and easy exits, yes like normal stores.
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Accordingly to the Wall Street Journal, IKEA is exploring ideas on how to keep the stores more relevant as e-commerce has taken over. Because many customers prefer to order online, it’s becoming more apparent that not everyone needs to physically go to the store.
“We wanted to basically start from scratch and say, how could we imagine a store of tomorrow, the store where the customer is not going anymore to just buy a Billy bookcase?” said IKEA’s global deputy retail manager, Stefan Vanoverbeke.
Testing A New Concept
There have been a couple of stores rolling out globally to test a new concept.
A store that opened in the Xuhui district of Shanghai, China tested out a possible “future store format.” The space has showrooms, and a shop for small items, a theatre-like space for hanging out, a restaurant, and a “Maker’s Hub” where staff help repair or build items.
There will also be a new compact store opening soon to Vienna, Austria. It will be 5 stories, have a rooftop cafe, and no parking lot. The concept is that accessories and smaller furniture can be carried out, while larger items are ordered for next-day home delivery.
Both stores entertain a digital concept. People can walk around and scan items with their phone and also take any route vs. having to walk through each showroom as before.
Future of North America Stores
“Based upon that, we will decide which parts we feel are ready to be rolled out in other stores,” Mr. Vanoverbeke said.
If the sales and figures from these new concept stores are deemed successful, IKEA will be evaluating how it will roll out future stores all around the world in the few years.
So your local Ikea may be looking very different in the future.
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