Ikea to open first small-format store in Sydney in May

Ikea Australia’s first small-format store is set to open in Sydney’s Westfield Warringah Mall at the beginning of May.

The Ikea Planning Studio will provide shoppers on the Northern Beaches with a place to plan and build their dream kitchens and bedrooms. Staff on-site will be equipped with tablets and provide one-on-one consultations to help customers select the right products from Ikea’s range of furniture, appliances, storage solutions and more.

This stands in sharp contrast to the massive, showroom-cum-warehouse stores that Ikea traditionally has been famous for. But the shifting retail landscape has seen the Swedish furniture giant globally adapt its offer by launching e-commerce sites, providing more do-it-for-me services and, increasingly, experimenting with smaller stores in urban centres.

“At Ikea, we know Australians are looking for new and more convenient ways to shop their favourite products. We’re excited to be bringing bespoke Ikea shopping experiences to Aussies around the country in locations that suit them,” Ikea Australia country manager Jan Gardberg said.

“We’ve chosen Warringah Mall as our first location in order to reach even more Australians that live within urban areas, outside of the city centre.”

The Planning Studio seemingly aims to provide a more immersive shopping experience, with a “luxe bedroom environment” that will transport shoppers to a “hub of femininity through floral scents and classic detailing” and a “soothing wellness sanctuary” that will feature a variety of kitchen solutions.

In a separate initiative, the retailer currently is hosting a series of “sleepovers” at stores across the country, where select customers can experience how Ikea’s range of sleep solutions – that is, mattresses, bedding and other items – provide a better night’s sleep. This suggests Ikea is looking for ways to interact with customers on a more personalised and experiential level.

“We want to inspire people to get creative and explore the possibilities of our range. The launch of our small format stores is just another way we’re helping Australians to create personalised and functional spaces within the home,” Gardberg said.

The Planning Studio’s design was inspired by Scandinavian modern style and Ikea’s design values of sustainability, quality, form, function and affordability, the retailer said, and created with the eco-friendly shopper in mind.

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