Will Planning Studios elevate IKEA’s urban shopper journey?
IKEA will open two mini-Planning Studios in the Los Angeles area with a focus on “providing inspiration and smart home solutions for city living.”
The first, measuring 8,000 square feet, will open Spring 2022 at the Long Beach Towne Center, with a second location yet to be determined. Globally, IKEA recently announced plans to develop 30 such touchpoints in city centers over the next three years to be more accessible and convenient for customers in urban markets.
IKEA has been in the L.A. market since the opening of its 456,000-square-foot IKEA Burbank store, with locations following in Carson, Costa Mesa and Covina. The company typically builds its warehouse-like self-service stores on the outskirts of cities to save money.
At the Planning Studios, customers can book appointments and get support from design specialists with planning and ordering home furnishing solutions “that require a bit more help,” such as kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. Customers can order products to be sent to their home or arrange “another convenient point of delivery,” such as a nearby store.
The Planning Studios were based on research on how consumers shop the furniture category including the logistical barriers they face.
“Understanding that many L.A.-area residents are often frustrated by being stuck in traffic, we identified geographic areas in the market that are beyond a 30-minute drive from existing stores and where affinity to IKEA is extremely high,” said Janet McGowan, area vice president, IKEA U.S., in a statement.
Javier Quiñones, CEO and chief sustainability officer, IKEA U.S., said the retailer is transforming to “be where people are — whenever and however they want to meet IKEA.”
The first Planning Studio in the U.S. opened in April in Manhattan with a focus on solutions for small spaces.
Other ways IKEA is planning to reach more urban consumers is with smaller, more centrally-located stores, such as a 115,000-square-foot store that opened earlier this year in Rego Park, Queens. To support e-commerce growth in the New York City region, IKEA recently opened a 975,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Staten Island and has introduced lower priced shipping and delivery, Click & Collect and TaskRabbit assembly services.
- Two is better than one! IKEA U.S. will open two new planning studios in Los Angeles, California – IKEA
- First IKEA U.S. Planning Studio to open in Manhattan on April 15 – IKEA
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is it more important now to be more accessible and convenient to urban shoppers versus when IKEA first entered those markets? Will IKEA’s Planning Studios prove to be worthwhile?