Ikea announced it will start rolling out smaller-format stores across the U.K. in an effort to attract more customers. The furniture chain has 18 rural stores in the U.K., and urban shoppers have to drive for hours to reach them.
The first smaller location will open in Norwich this fall, The Telegraph reported. It will allow shoppers to collect online orders and test products with in-store experts, while providing food options in a cafe.
The new store is based in a retail park just outside of the city center. Ikea plans to open two more small stores within the year. Similar constructions are taking place in Spain, Norway and Finland as the retailer revamps and grows existing stores while also improving its website and e-commerce sales.
"Our customers are also telling us that with 18 stores in the U.K., we are often too far away. Order and collection points give us the opportunity to trial new ways of being more accessible to our customers," Gillian Drakeford, head of Ikea in the U.K. and Ireland, told The Telegraph. "We will start by testing this new format in Norwich. We already have an established online presence in this market, but currently our customers in Norfolk have to travel more than two hours to our Lakeside or Milton Keynes stores to see the product range and get planning and design advice."
Ikea joins other retailers trying to build up their smaller-format store presence including Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT).
-See this The Telegraph article
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