Ikea has unveiled its next generation store format in Shanghai – and says that if the new “interactive and intuitive” retail experience is successful it will roll it out in other markets from 2022.
The homewares retailer, ranked Top150 in RXUK Top500 research, says the new store format is a move away from its traditional out-of-town warehouse format, and is part of a global transformation as the business adapts to changing customer demand and equips itself for the future.
Stefan Vanoverbeke, global deputy retail operations manager at Ikea Retail, says: “The IKEA Shanghai Xuhui is a culmination of IKEA’s deep retail expertise and understanding of how customers now want to shop in our stores and live in their own homes. It was created by internal and external specialists, experts in consumer behaviour, food, expansion, mega trends, and futurology. As a result, we’re providing not only high quality and affordable items, but breath-taking moments and enriching experiences that will drive visitation and offer an enhanced shopping experience.
“I’m thrilled we could bring the first ‘next gen’ store to a futuristic fast-moving market such as Shanghai. We’re looking forward to trialling every different element, learning what works best and continuing to adapt along with IKEA customers.”
Digital services from Scan and Go to self-checkout and mobile food ordering sit alongside a series of new dedicated hubs in the newly renovated Shanghai Xuhui store.
Shoppers can register for events and book for design advice online, as well as using their own mobile devices to scan items – for more information or to add them to their basket – as they move around the store before using self-checkout to buy.
Customers at the new look store can ask local experts for advice at a maker’s hub, where they can make and repair items or work on their own circular design projects. A design hub also features in-store advice, workshops and exhibitions, while a food hub offers the opportunity to test new ideas, such as urban farming. Each will function as a community hub, offering, says Ikea, “everything from cooking and yoga classes to home furnishing workshops, while staying true to Ikea’s mission to create a better life at home within the limits of the planet."
The new store also moves away from the typical journey that leads shoppers through every part of an Ikea shop, with tills at the end the journey. Now, shoppers can get to a till to pay at any point. Play areas remain a key part of the design, as do restaurants and other food options.
Ikea is redesigning the space in the store to make fulfilment easier and more environmentally friendly, with both inbound and outbound logistics taking place within the boundaries of the store. Ikea says that shoppers will be able to take delivery “in the easiest, quickest and most environmentally-friendly way” with future features set to include just in time picking.