IKEA Is Testing Small Pick-Up Point Stores In Canada

Image courtesy of (Gregory Brown)

I live in a smaller metropolitan area where people often whine that we have to drive more than two hours each way to visit an IKEA store. What if we didn’t, though? What if cities too small to support a mammoth IKEA of their own had small stores with some retail offerings, where they could pick up their online orders of flat-pack furniture themselves? The chain of mega-stores announced this week that they’re trying that idea out in Canada.

When it comes to IKEA, of course, “small” is relative. These mini stores for the pilot program will be about 20,000 square feet: about the size of an H&M store, a larger Apple Store, and maybe half the size of a small grocery store. That’s one-twelfth the size of the smallest IKEA stores.

Customers can place orders at the first mini-IKEA, in the college town of London, Ontario: they’ll be able to have items delivered for an CDN$80 flat fee, or drive to the store to pick them up.

The stores will have a pared-down number of furniture and accessory displays, and samples of furniture finishes for customers to browse and touch in person. They will have four full kitchens displayed, for example, and three beds set up.

If the idea works, it will spread to other areas that are too small to support full-grown IKEA stores. “If we see that it is a good thing, we will roll it out [elsewhere],” IKEA Canada president Stefan Sjöstrand told the Toronto Star. “If it’s not working, then we will have to try something else.” Canada seems like a good choice to try this out: it has a relatively spread-out population, and very few IKEA stores relative to the number of people who live there and who presumably need furniture.

Ikea to test retail concept at new location opening in Ontario [Toronto Star]