First mini Ikea set for Tottenham Court Road
Ikea is to open small city centre stores and introduce 24-hour delivery in response to changing consumer habits.
UK and Ireland Retail Manager Javier Quinones told The Times: "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…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."
The first mini Ikea will open in Tottenham Court Road, London, later this year, and will display a smaller range than usual, showcasing kitchen and bedroom products. The move confirms a recent trend in the UK and across the world, namely micro-retailers. Last year, B&Q opened its first High Street store in the UK to trial the format and its CEO, Veronique Laury, has suggested that there may be more coming soon.
“Opening small stores allows retailers to be more visible, versatile, and similarly to how fast fashion works, allow them to respond to customer trends quicker. When customers know what they want, it’s easier for them to buy online; but if they don’t – that’s when they go offline,” says Jat Sahi, Digital Lead Retail at Fujitsu UK & Ireland. “To build a sense of discovery, we’re likely to see more stores become more sensational, and also more flexible."
In the US, Nordstorm has already opened a number of micro stores, where customers request products online but try them on and buy in-store. "As digital redefines customer experience, retailers must think of themselves as tech companies, making the best of the technology available to them to please and entice the customer," says Sahi.