IKEA is a mainstay when it comes to furnishing your apartment. Of course, no student home would be complete without the "Lack" side table (you know exactly what I'm talking about).

But even most adult houses wouldn't be complete without a cheap IKEA bookshelf or nighstand. Nevertheless, the brand has been struggling in recent years, as it competes with online-only brands like Amazon and Wayfair.

To keep up with these increasingly popular brands, the Swedish furniture giant is set to open new, smaller stores in more central locations.

This is because the brand wants to reach a millennial audience, which is increasingly moving to urban areas and ditching cars in favour of public transportation.

This means that the suburban, car-centric model of shopping that the store has relied on in past years needs to be retought: the brand saw a fall in profits of 26% in 2017 according to CPA Canada.


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Instead of opening more big-box stores, IKEA is focusing on opening what the chain calls "design studios:" smaller, urban stores.

The stores don't have any merchandise in-stock, but consumers can browse through displays and consult with salespeople to find what they're looking for, and then order items for home delivery.

Unfortunately, these stores do not sell Swedish meatballs. Nor do they sell those delicious cinnamon buns.

These stores already exist. There are two planning studios in the UK and one in Manhattan.

When CPA Canada spoke to an IKEA spokesperson, they told them that there were no plans for a planning studio as of right now, but that they are looking to expand in Canada.

One can hope that these planning studios will soon open in big Canadian cities.

Find out more about the planning studios here.

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