IKEA looks to bridge online and in-store gap

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Swedish Home furnishing retailer IKEA today announced plans to test a number of new retail formats in the UK.

The planned Order and Collection Points aims to make shopping easier and more convenient, connecting IKEA’s in-store and online experiences, allowing customers to shop whenever, wherever and however they want.

Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK country manager, said: “We are extremely excited to announce our plans to test and explore Order and Collection Points as an addition to our current sales channels. We know that consumers in the UK like to shop across many channels and using multiple devices.

“Our customers are also telling us that with 18 stores in the UK, we are often too far away. Order and Collection Points give us the opportunity to trial new ways of being more accessible to our customers.”

The first Order and Collection Point will open in Norwich this Autumn.

Ms Drakeford said: “We will start by testing this new format in Norwich. We already have an established online presence in this market but currently our customers in Norfolk have to travel more than two hours to our Lakeside or Milton Keynes stores to see the product range and get planning and design advice.

“By introducing an Order and Collection Point in this market we are hoping to bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping and offer customers a more personal service locally.”

IKEA will explore slightly different Order and Collection Point formats in selected markets.

For Norwich specifically, the format will act primarily as a planning studio, where customers will be able to speak with home furnishing experts for advice and support when making more complex purchases, such as kitchens or wardrobes.

Customers will have the opportunity to touch and test the product range and will be able to collect orders made online or in the store.

The new Order and Collection Points form part of plans to make IKEA more accessible.

The expansion plans include rebuilding existing stores to improve the shopping experience, opening new stores in new locations, updating existing e-commerce platforms and adding additional services for customers.