The small store is in stark contrast to the usual huge stores which often span more than 300,000 square feet, and this is a deliberate move to attract city dwellers who need furniture, kitchen accessories and organisational pieces for smaller homes.
The new small style store will be located along a stretch of Third Avenue which also houses Home Depot and Bloomingdales to name a few big names. The new small format store is built on a ‘planning studio’ theme by Ikea, who hope it will serve as a means of encouraging shoppers to select various items that they need delivering to their homes. As an added incentive buyers will be offered lower priced shipping and delivery as well as help with assembly, financing their purchase and an opportunity to buy items online and then pick up in the store. In keeping with the ‘planning studio’ theme there will be private rooms and computer stations on hand to assist with design planning sessions, and these will be available to be booked by customers using an appointment system.
The Swedish multinational group is renowned for the notable range of modernist designs in furniture and appliances, and the brand is associated with simplicity, space and eco-friendly materials. The company has been around since the 1940s and has grown to be one of the largest furniture retailers from around 2008 onwards. The success of the brand is also down to the attention to detail regarding cost and operations which have enabled the store to lower prices and keep it competitive.
Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. retail operation, Leontyne Green Sykes, states that the chain is undergoing a transformational phase which entails listening and responding to customers and their requirements. The new smaller spaces are based on this consultation period, particularly with residents of Manhattan and New York who live in smaller homes. As with other retailers who are beating the economic crisis by lateral thinking and responding to client demand, Ikea look set to attract a whole new set of customers in New York, and plan to open at least 30 more city center locations including Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco and Chicago.
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