IKEA is to trial a new format store in Norwich, an area where it has yet to build a presence, with an order and collection point that it says will improve the service it offers Norfolk customers.
Currently customers in the area buy online without face-to-face assistance, or travel more than two hours to Ikea’s Lakeside or Milton Keynes stores to see the range for themselves or to get design advice.
An IKEA spokesman said, “By introducing an order and collection point in this market we are hoping to bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping and offer customers a more personal service locally.”
IKEA plans to explore slightly different Order and Collection Point formats in selected markets, using this as an opportunity to find out more about how customers want to shop with IKEA in these areas.
For Norwich specifically, the format will act primarily as a planning studio, where customers will be able to speak with home furnishing experts for advice and support when making more complex purchases, such as kitchens or wardrobes. Customers will have the opportunity to touch and test the product range and will be able to collect orders made online or in the store. The Norwich Order and Collection Point will also include a café and will have a limited range of products that customers can take home ‘on the day’.
The new format, says IKEA, is part of a strategy to be more accessible. Existing stores will also be rebuilt to improve the customer experience, while new stores will open and the existing ecommerce platform will be updated and offer a wider range of services.