Ikea Group is focused on being better placed to defend its market-leading position and maintain growth as consumer preferences shift towards online shopping and home delivery.
Ikea will begin testing open-source showrooms in city centres as part of its efforts to adapt to rapidly changing consumer shopping behaviour, according to a new Reuters report.
While shoppers can still pick up purchases from Ikea’s newly designed showrooms, it will incorporate features that will make it more accessible, both physically and digitally.
“Our customers will see new initiatives, both physical and digital,” Torbjörn Lööf, Inter Ikea Group’s chief executive told Reuters. “This (format) will come within the next few years.”
The new Ikea city centre showrooms will offer expanded home delivery services, which will reduce the amount of parking lots and inventory holding.
The Scandinavian furniture giant’s new store concept will also display its entire range of merchandise, but in a smaller space, with the help of digital tools like virtual reality.
Ikea Group will also roll out a new digital platform called ‘Co-Create Ikea’ which mimics its IT division’s open-source software development, where customers have the chance help develop and test new products.
Ikea’s new city store design seems to be in line with its announcement in June, of plans to sell its merchandise on websites’ of third-party sellers, with its products being made available on Amazon later that month.
The company, which has been quite slow to adopt e-commerce, has been busy this year focusing heavily on new digital initiatives to keep up with changing consumer behaviour. Last month, Ikea Australia announced its augmented reality app to lessen the friction and barriers for consumers purchasing furniture, taking it leagues ahead of most other retailers in Australia.
In June, Ikea Australia also unveiled the Ikea Virtual Reality Store, a first for a large format retailer in Australia, providing a digital experience that allows customers to ‘walk’ the iconic Ikea store and browse products. The company is also slowly rolling out its e-commerce operations across Australia, bit by bit, launching its e-commerce platform locally in the last 12 months with the gradual increase of click-and-collect across the different states.
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