- Moving beyond its warehouse-like stores, Ikea on Wednesday announced it is expanding its small-format planning studio concept, opening two stores on the West Coast.
- The stores, located in Los Angeles, will open in spring 2022, according to an emailed press release. The planning studios will give customers access to ordering and planning support from design specialists.
- The concept differs from the traditional Ikea store customers have come to know: Consumers won't be able to leave the store with purchases in hand. Rather, customers work with Ikea staff to coordinate the delivery of goods.
With two more planning studios on the way, Ikea appears to be doubling down on its ambitions of attracting urban consumers.
The furniture retailer first opened its planning studio concept in 2019 on New York City's Upper East Side. That store spanned 17,350 square feet — a fraction of the size of its traditional, warehouse-like concepts.
At least one of the new Los Angeles stores will be even smaller: The Long Beach planning studio takes up just 8,000 square feet. The second Los Angeles location has not been announced yet.
"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," Janet McGowan, area vice president of Ikea U.S., said in a statement. "By opening the two planning studios in the L.A. market, we are taking the first steps to create customer meeting points that are more accessible and convenient to the many people of the L.A. market while continuing to offer smart and affordable home solutions."
Aside from the planning studios, Ikea has also been opening other small-format stores in urban areas. In 2019, the retailer announced it would be bringing a location to New York's Queens borough, though significantly scaled down compared to its traditional locations — about a third of the size, at 115,000 square feet. The store, which officially opened its doors at the beginning of this year, allows customers to purchase thousands of products from the store, but said "larger furniture items will be on display and available for convenient delivery."
"Ikea is transforming to better meet the needs of our customers," Javier Quiñones, CEO and chief sustainability officer of Ikea U.S., said in a statement. "We've seen that customers are still eager for in-person experiences. That's why we're investing heavily in brick-and-mortar locations, and newer, more accessible store formats."
Ingka Group, Ikea's largest franchisee, earlier this month reported Ikea retail sales increased 6.3% year over year to 37.4 billion euros ($43.4 billion at the time).