Next week in Manhattan, IKEA will open its first “Planning Studio” — a tiny storefront 1/20th the size of the classic 350k-square-foot stores we’ve all come to know and fear.
It will be the new concept’s first location in the US, and it’s all part of an effort to build 20 new IKEA locales in cities over the next 3 years.
At the Planning Studio, customers will be able to learn about Ikea’s “small space solutions,” browse selections of popular IKEA teams, and order products for home delivery — but don’t expect to take anything home day-of.
Lookin’s for free, but touchin’s gonna cost ya!
Bloomberg reports that this is the furniture giant’s latest change to its nearly $44B business model, as it needs to pivot from its DIY culture as e-commerce hybrids like Wayfair move in to take their lunch.
The Swedish company flipped the global furniture market with its selection of bargain furniture sprawled around a labyrinth of twists and turns (if you’ve never been lost in an IKEA, you’ve never known struggle).
But that model forces shoppers to assemble the furniture themselves — an expectation less appealing to today’s consumers (IKEA’s profits dropped 26% in 2018).
Ebay: Forever a visionary
We all laughed at those weird “We Sell Your Stuff On Ebay” stores but, nearly 20 years later, it turns out Ebay was just ahead of its time.
Now, as failed brick-and-mortars (*ahem* Sears) drop like flies, companies are forced to adapt to the way people actually shop both online and in physical stores.
These smaller storefronts are designed to focus more on white-glove services like “search bar” kiosks where shoppers can access the entirety of the brand’s stock — yeah, but, no meatballs?
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