Ikea launches scaled-down stores in region
Retail locations in Aintree, Preston and Stockport are to house new “plan and order points” being rolled out by the Swedish furniture giant.
Due to open this winter, the units will be up to 1,000 sq ft and come, the retailer said as part of its “ongoing transformation to make it easier and more accessible to shop with IKEA”.
Ikea told Place North West that exact locations cannot be confirmed at this point, but that all Plan & Order stores will be opened in retail parks or shopping centres.
This is the first wave of Plan & Order facilities in the UK, although there is a slightly larger ‘Order & Collection Point” in Aberdeen.
The North West has been a major part of Ikea’s UK growth story, with the country’s first IKEA store opening in Warrington 30 years ago, followed by a store in Ashton-under-Lyne in 2007.
Plans for a store at Lancashire’s Cuerden development site were pulled in 2018.
The Plan & Order Points are designed to provide customers with a free, bespoke design consultation.
The focus will be on kitchen and wardrobe designs, although customers will be able to get help planning any room in their home.
The units will be sized between 753 sq ft and 968 sq ft and will showcase around five kitchen and wardrobe solutions as well as having a consultation area.
Although much smaller than a standard Ikea store, the units will be packed with information and samples, IKEA said. There will be no products to take away or food for sale on site.
The move follows the launch of ‘collect near you’ points last month, with selected Tesco car parks housing pick-up facilities.
Marsha Smith, deputy country retail manager, IKEA UK & Ireland, said: “Our investment in the North West is part of our long-term plan to transform our retail business, making it easier for our customers to shop with us in a number of convenient ways.
“With a variety of stores, service offers and digital solutions that complement each other, our aim is to be there for our customers, however they want to meet us.”