Ikea is known for its enormous super stores with a maze-like configuration which can leave even the best of boy scouts lost and tearful.
The retailer has now devised a plan, considering the introduction of 12 new ‘micro stores’ across Australia with a smaller, more straight-forward format – set to be less than one third the size of the current warehouses, which are a massive 30,000 square metres, according to Fairfax Media.
The number of stores will almost triple from eight to 22 ‘over the next few’ years and an online store will be launched for the first time in 2017 – an ‘ecommerce platform’ – in the hope of increasing the company’s accessibility and simplifying the process of procuring the ready-to-assemble furniture.
The brand’s fresh new business model comes as Ikea marks its 40th year of business in Australia.
The Ikea mini-marts have been trialled in Spain, Germany and the UK which offer a smaller selection of their best-selling items and allow a pick up for online orders. It’s hoped the plan to boost the brand will more than double the company’s takings from $733 million in 2014 to at least $1.8 billion by 2020.
The hip designs are hugely popular in Australia, raking in $666.15 million in sales in Australia alone in 2013 and $42 billion worldwide.
Ikea Australia’s country manager David Hood hopes that by expanding and reinvigorating the brand’s current model the 72-year-old Swedish company can grab a bigger market share from competitors like hardware giant Bunnings, furniture moguls Harvey Norman, Freedom Furniture and Fantastic Furniture and budget chain stores Target and Kmart.
A new Ikea was opened in Marsden Park in Sydney’s west in June, the first ever Canberra Ikea will be opened in November and a second Brisbane store will open its doors in August 2016.
Mr Hood is eyeing off future locations along the east coast, with 22 new locations being considered. Ultimately he thinks ‘Australia can support around 13 full-size IKEA stores, plus a number of pick-up locations scattered in areas like the NSW central coast, north eastern Queensland and Tasmania’. Another three or four regular sized stores and two distribution centres are also planned to continue the brand’s all-round expansion.
Mr Hood revealed plans for the smaller stores on the New South Wales’ Central Coast and Queensland’s Goal Coast – as well as two more of the larger, traditional, European models in Melbourne and Sydney.
Ikea prides itself on its low-cost, quality homewares which are sustainable and environmentally-conscious.