It’s been going on for a little while, in Madrid, Prague and now London. Swedish homewares and furniture giant IKEA started opening niche, single category stores in 2017 with a store in Madrid dedicated to bedrooms. It followed this with another earlier this year, this time focusing on sitting rooms.
Now it’s happening in London with a store dubbed “Planning Studio” where shoppers in search of a new kitchen or some bedroom storage can have a nose around a two-floor shop and then sit down with one of the IKEA planners to create a dream interior. Like the stores in both Madrid and Prague, this is a micro enterprise by IKEA standards, but what it does is to put itself in front of urban interior shoppers who might not make it out to the edge of the city, where most IKEAs tend to be located.
The choice of location is also interesting: Tottenham Court Road. This is the furniture and homewares heartland of central London and shows perhaps that IKEA is intent on going head-to-head with its rivals, such as Heals and Habitat on their home turf. It’s a new strategy for IKEA and one that looks set to pay dividends.