Shopping in IKEA is a unique experience. The quirky concepts, affordable prices, all-important meatballs and Daim cake – and crucially, the location. Most IKEA stores in the UK are so big that they require a retail park to host them, but that could all be about to change.
30 years after its arrival in the UK, the Swedish furniture giant has revealed plans to open smaller stores on UK high streets, starting with a shop on London’s Tottenham Court Road this autumn.
The development will also see IKEA introduce 24-hour online delivery, in order to to keep up with ongoing changes in to the way in which customers shop.
Speaking to The Times, Javier Quiñones, the brand’s UK and Ireland retail manager, explained: ‘Consumers were driving to where the stores were and picking up the goods and going home.
‘This is changing totally. Online is impacting massively because people are ordering through phones and iPads.’
‘It’s not that we have to change because otherwise we will not exist tomorrow, but… I’m convinced that if we do not do the transformation then in the long-run we will not exist.’
The high-street store will display a smaller range than your average IKEA, with a particular focus on kitchen and bedroom products, as shoppers like to interact with staff to committing to this type of purchase.
‘Our new city centre approach is designed to complement our larger stores and digital offering so customers have a wide range of choices that suit their needs and lifestyles,’ added Jane Bisset, Ikea London city centre market leader.
The only catch? The high-street IKEA will not feature the beloved cafe, so you’ll still have to travel to the larger outlets to get your lingonberry jam and gravy fix.
However, IKEA hope that the new smaller shops will allow them to react to trends more quickly and make their products more accessible in a wider range of locations – and seeing as we already can’t enter a store without picking up tea lights, cushions and glassware galore, we don’t imagine it’ll be long until we make our first local purchase.