Retail

IKEA Unveils Manhattan ‘Planning Studio’ Concept

IKEA

To allow shoppers to discover and purchase products for home delivery, IKEA is planning on opening a new store in Manhattan that has a focus on urban living. The location is dubbed the IKEA Planning Studio and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019, Chain Store Age reported.

Ikea Retail U.S Country Manager Lars Petersson said in an announcement, “We recognize that we are in a rapidly changing retail environment, and to be fit for long-term growth, Ikea is transforming in a way that lets us meet our customers where they are. New York City is the natural choice to open the first city center store — the most vibrant, dynamic city in the US, and the epicenter of retail, business, and culture.”

The store isn’t the first of its kind in the world: IKEA already opened a London Planning Studio store in October. That United Kingdom location features a selection of items that shoppers can order online, but customers can’t bring home items the same day that they shop. The shop also has staff who can provide personalized advice to consumers.

The news comes as IKEA had unveiled plans to keep up with or increase its heavy level of investment in eCommerce and brick-and-mortar efforts to keep up with consumers’ changing shopping habits.  Those efforts involved growing its eCommerce business to compete with Amazon and creating iterations of its showrooms geared toward city centers, it was reported in March.

At the time, it was reported that Amazon had two new furniture brands. In addition, it was said that India’s Flipkart and Germany’s Otto and Home24 also compete with the retailer. IKEA CFO Juvencio Maeztu said at the time, according to Reuters, “Of course, you can see online players such as Amazon and Flipkart growing. What is more relevant than ever is to be as close as possible to the consumer — it has much more power than before.”

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