In retail news, Scandinavian home furnishings chain IKEA has announced plans to test full-range showrooms and an “open-source” design, according to reports from Reuters on Monday (Oct. 9). The new concept stores have already launched as trials in smaller city centers, including order and pickup points and a kitchen showroom in the financial district of Stockholm.
The new design appears to be in line with the company’s June announcement of plans to test selling its furniture and home goods products on platforms other than its own to reach as many customers as possible.
“Our customers will see new initiatives, both physical and digital,” said Torbjörn Lööf, franchiser Inter IKEA Group chief executive officer.
Lööf’s comments came after Inter IKEA’s announcement that its stores had reported €38.3 billion in total fiscal year sales through August, an increase from the €36.4 billion seen in the previous year.
IKEA’s “web of companies” include retail, shopping centers and food retail, according to Reuters, and the company’s design and supply chain management operations are under the guidance of brand owner and franchiser Inter IKEA.
The new IKEA city center stores concept will feature expanded home delivery services, minimizing the need for extensive in-store inventory or expansive parking lots, Reuters reported. Instead, the city center concept stores and others like it will boast a smaller retail footprint and a heavy reliance on digital tools and virtual reality to help customers shop for and find the items they need.
“This [format] will come within the next few years,” Torbjörn Lööf said, adding, “We are [also] launching ‘Co-Create IKEA,’ a digital platform where customers will have the possibility to develop and test new products … a bit like the open-source development within IT.”
According to the news report, IKEA currently has 403 stores in 49 markets and sees room for expansion into India, Latvia and South America in the near future, the article noted. The current IKEA stores are owned by 11 franchises, IKEA Group holding the most at 355 locations.