Coming to a city near you: Ikea, new and (maybe) improved

Retail Dive – The furniture retailer is opening 30 small-store concepts in urban areas and refocusing e-commerce and delivery efforts. Will that lure millennials? The Swedish retailer recently announced it will open around 30 urban store concepts over the next two years. These stores will differ from the big-box warehouses many have come to associate with the company. Instead, they will have a more experiential concept, creating mock ups of rooms within the store to showcase products.

As Ikea refocuses its business plan, the discussion forum on RetailWire asked its BrainTrust panel of retail experts the following questions:

  • Do you see Ikea’s shift to smaller, city-center stores and heightened focus on online delivery as smart moves?
  • What should the company retain from the traditional IKEA business model?

Here are comments from Ken Morris, principal at BRP, retail consulting firm.

“Retail is an extremely competitive industry that has arrived at a state where retailers need to evolve or die. Ikea is evolving by experimenting with new formats and shopping and delivery options for consumers. I wouldn’t classify this as radical transformation as they are tweaking their proven concepts by adding urban locations, assembly, delivery and e-commerce.
As they tweak their retail formats, they should retain the traditional iconic core products and services that customers know and love: Frakta Shopping bag, Poäng chair, Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam while adding accessibility, delivery and relief from the annoying assembly nightmare that sometimes exists.”

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