Ikea’s newest store in Australia is a fraction of the size. Here’s why

me with an Ikea associate at the store or online, and work together with them to build out the kitchen or room of their dreams.

From there, customers can either have their goods delivered straight to their door, or pick them up from the nearest Ikea warehouse store.

The concept has already been tried and tested in other markets, such as the US, Europe and Asia, and is a way of expanding the business’ reach in cities, where it can be difficult to open big-box stores.

“We really want to meet our customers the way they want to connect with us,” Ikea’s manager for the upcoming Highpoint store Julian Pertile told Inside Retail

“We’re designing this new store so that we’re able to move our brand and our range closer to where our customers are living, working and socialising. We’re trying to provide our customers with one-to-one expert advice.

“We have a lot of complex kitchen and wardrobe systems, and customers will be able to come into the store, sit down with an [employee] and go into detail to help solve some of their frustrations at home.”

Provided the Highpoint store performs well, Ikea has said it could potentially launch a few more stores throughout Melbourne, followed by a number of stores in New South Wales.

Ikea, redefined

The new store will fundamentally change how customers interact with Ikea. When most people think about shopping at Ikea, they often think of it as a day trip. It requires setting aside enough time to travel to the nearest Ikea store, walk through the various categories, pick out the things they need and grab some meatballs on the way out.

“Our bigger stores can have over 10,000 [SKUs] in them, and we categorise a visit to an Ikea store as a day out for the family, or for the person, because there are so many different experiences that can connect to that,” Pertile said. 

But not everyone wants to spend a whole day at Ikea. And that’s where the Plan and Order format comes in. 

“The Plan and Order store is very much set up to accommodate people that are more time poor. Maybe they’ve had a tough, busy day at work, and they need to go grocery shopping, but they can pop in, shop with us, and get everything they need sorted out by our experts, ordered online, and then delivered to their home,” he said.

“It’s a very streamlined approach compared to the trek to an Ikea store.”

It’s also a much simpler store for Ikea to design and build. Because the format is far smaller and requires no warehouse space, Pertile noted that moving forward, Ikea could expand into new areas faster, provided it could facilitate deliveries to the area in question.

“With the right digital capabilities, and the right experts, we’d still be able to provide an excellent level of service and our range to a customer, which is really cool,” he said.

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