STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – IKEA plans to test “open-source” design and full-range town-center showrooms as part of the furniture retailer’s efforts to adapt to rapidly changing consumer shopping habits.
The budget furniture retailer’s strategy will still be based on its out-of-town warehouse stores, where shoppers pick up their purchases, but it also wants to become more accessible, physically and digitally.
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It has launched trial store formats such as smaller city center stores, order and pickup-points and – the latest test format – a kitchen showroom in Stockholm’s financial district.
Torbjorn Loof, chief executive at franchiser Inter IKEA, said the group would try more things in different markets. “Our customers will see new initiatives, both physical and digital,” he told Reuters.
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Loof was speaking after Inter IKEA said stores worldwide reported total sales of 38.3 billion euros ($44.9 billion) in the fiscal year through August, up from 36.4 billion a year earlier.
The web of companies that make up IKEA has focused ownership of retail operations, which also include shopping centers and food retail, on IKEA Group. Supply chain management and design has transferred to brand owner and franchiser Inter IKEA.
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With IKEA Group focusing fully on retail, the hope is that it will be better placed to defend its market-leading position and maintain growth as competition and consumer expectations shift towards online shopping and home delivery.
Loof said IKEA was fine-tuning its city-center store concept, developing a format to display its entire range but in...
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