Ikea set to trial smaller format stores in the UK

Swedish furniture giant Ikea have revealed plans to trail smaller stores in an attempt to reach more customers across the UK.

Ikea currently have 18 warehouse-style outlets across the UK, meaning shoppers often have to travel long distances to reach their nearest store. A smaller store will be tested in Norwich, where the nearest Ikea is a two hour drive away.

The new format will likely retain the famous Ikea cafe, but will provide limited instore products and will instead focus on providing expert advice and planning, as well as click and collect options.

Gillian Drakeford, IKEA’s UK Manager, said: “Order and collection points give us the opportunity to trial new ways of being more accessible to our customers.”

Despite these smaller stores offering a narrower selection of instore products, customers will be able to collect online orders and speak to experts about their requirements.

Similar format stores have already been trialled in other European countries, including Spain, Norway and Finland.

Retailers are increasingly having to adapt their businesses to meet the needs of modern shoppers and these plans are part of Ikea’s drive to be more accessible to more people in the UK.

Commenting on the plans, the company said: “The ambitious 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.”

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