With a move that could change how shoppers buy merchandise, IKEA is allowing consumers to essentially pay with their time. IKEA Dubai is launching a campaign that will let shoppers use their time as currency by showing their Google Maps timeline to checkout workers to show how long it took them to travel to IKEA stores, Forbes reported.
"Before the birth of this campaign, we realized two things: time is precious today, and many loyal IKEA customers spend a significant chunk of it visiting our locations, which are sometimes away from the city center,” said an IKEA spokesperson. "We think it’s only right to reward our customers’ efforts by repaying them for the time spent reaching us. It’s our way of helping the Dubai community make the most of every minute.”
The campaign, called “Buy With Your Time,” was created to help shoppers who live on the edges of towns and typically spend a lot of time traveling to IKEA stores. The “time currency” prices are reportedly based on the average salary in Dubai. The campaign is said to be timed with the opening of a new location in Jebel Ali.
In separate news, IKEA is now building megastores in urban areas without parking spaces – starting with a Vienna, Austria location – as more shoppers are living car-free lifestyles. The strategy complements the fact that because of the large size of many of the store’s items, more consumers are choosing to have their purchases sent to them.
News also recently surfaced, however, that IKEA is expected to shutter a British location, as the merchant says the store had a “substantially lower” number of shoppers than first forecast. The Coventry store has regularly had losses since its 2007 opening, with shoppers instead choosing to transact via eCommerce or visit retail parks.