Hold the meatballs, a new kind of IKEA store will be landing in Australia before the year is out. While it won’t offer the same experience we’ve come to expect from the affordable furniture masters – walkways that wind through a broad selection of the latest homewares, past couples breaking up over which side table best embodies their relationship – it will give more Aussies the opportunity to add that signature IKEA touch to their home.
The Swedish behemoth has named this evolution of the IKEA format “Planning Studios,” with the first store scheduled to launch before the end of 2022 in Northwest Melbourne. Shrinking the IKEA store footprint to just 300-500m², the new stores will shift their focus to helping customers plan and order their ideal home furnishings, meaning there will be no immediate articles or food for sale on site. Each studio will also offer a nearby collection point where customers can pick up their orders.
According to IKEA Australia’s CEO Mirja Viinanen, this new flexibility is designed to put power in the hands of customers, giving them more options in terms of how they shop with the world’s largest furniture retailer;
“The goal for our expansion is simple: we will be where the many people are, offering more people the ability to choose when, where, and how they want to engage with IKEA. Convenience is at the heart of our strategy,” he said.
“We will continue to transform and test new formats like the new Planning Studios to be able to meet our customers where it is convenient for them, and we are constantly researching where this need is the greatest to inform our expansion strategy.”
Provided the North Melbourne location is successful, IKEA will look to launch a Planning Studio in a Newcastle location with more stores to follow across Australia throughout 2023, quite possibly saving relationships wherever they appear. Alternatively, if you’re looking for some home-grown statement pieces of furniture, check out our 26 Best Australian Furniture Brands.