Ikea is to launch its small-format planning studio concept in two locations in Australia this year. The first is in north-west Melbourne, with the second planned for Newcastle.
Unlike its traditional warehouse-like stores, the Planning Studio is sized between 300-500 square metres and designed for customers to plan and order complex home furnishings and services such as dining, kitchens, and bed spaces.
According to the furniture retailer, the concept is part of its growth strategy for Australia and will enable the company to become more accessible and convenient for shoppers.
Each studio will have a collection point nearby where customers can collect their products upon ordering. There will be no food on sale, as the main focus of the concept store is assisting customers in customising their home furnishing solutions.
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Mirja Vinanen, CEO at Ikea Australia, says the goal of the format is to provide customers with more flexibility when accessing the retailer’s products.
“Convenience is at the heart of our strategy,” said Vinanen.
“We will continue to transform and test new formats like the new Planning Studios to be able to meet our customers where it is convenient for them, and we are constantly researching where this need is the greatest to inform our expansion strategy.”
The company expects the Planning Studios will help gather important customer insights and feedback during the first few months of opening. Based on their success, the company will consider if and where to open additional Planning Studios in the future.
This article was first published by Inside Retail.