News   Nov 28, 2023
 1.7K     2 
News   Nov 28, 2023
 1.4K     0 
News   Nov 28, 2023
 724     0 




IKEA goes with smaller format in UK

I think this type of mixed-development would be great in Toronto! Think of the possibilities...Though with four stores in the GTA, I think we're pretty overserved as it is.
Here's a pic
Sat 18 Jun 2005

Giant IKEA thinks small to expand in town centres


THE furniture giant IKEA yesterday unveiled radical plans for the first in a series of smaller stores in town centres across Britain.

The new shops are a departure for the Swedish retailer, which has previously opted for huge out-of-town warehouses.

An application to build a smaller store at Hillingdon, in West London, is expected to be submitted for planning permission within the next fortnight.

Scott Cordrey, IKEA's UK property manager, said: "The concept will be very different to anything we have built before in the IKEA world.

"This will be a benchmark for retailers in the M25 area, both in flexibility and environmental measures."

The new store, which will include a restaurant, will be about 20,000 sq m in size and laid out over three levels. The development also will include 240 one- and two-bedroom flats, with 170 of them classified as affordable housing.

The chain intends to build between eight and ten of the new smaller stores within the next three years.

A spokeswoman for IKEA said they have no immediate plans for a new store in Scotland, but that they have not yet chosen locations for the smaller shops.

The company already has two large branches in Scotland - one just off the Edinburgh city bypass and another at Braehead in Glasgow.

Last year, John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, refused the furniture chain permission to build a £30 million store at Stockport, near Manchester, because it went against government policy on out-of-town shopping developments.

IKEA appealed to the High Court but the decision was upheld last March. In a statement released after the High Court decision the company said it would continue with its expansion plans.

The smaller stores are seen as a way around the planning policy. The firm has described its new format as "IKEA as we know it" but that it would involve "compromises on range presentation and office space".

Leigh Sparks, professor of retail studies at Stirling University, said: "The smaller size of the stores will inevitably mean a compromise on the number of products available. How they handle that will be an interesting choice, and what works and what doesn't work is something they'll have to find out through experimentation."

Prof Sparks thinks the new stores may make use of IKEA's home delivery service and could act as a shopfront for items that may not be held in stock in the smaller stores but would be available to order.

He added: "Much will depend on the mix of products in store. There is a danger that if existing customers go to the new stores and are dissatisfied with the range they find there then it could damage the brand."

Neil Mason, a senior retail analyst with Mintel, said: "This is an attempt by IKEA to modify its format to get planning consent and make itself more available to consumers in the UK.

"They've been a victim of their own success in some ways - they're just so popular. They have a winning formula and I see no reason why they can't repeat that with their smaller format stores."

He added that the Swedish firm's plan to start selling goods online also would appeal to shoppers who wanted to avoid the crowds in its existing 13 large stores.
That's interesting, I know of lots of people who boycott stores that DON'T have free parking, but I've never heard of someone boycotting a store because it DOES have free parking. What's your reason?

I don't drive mainly for environmental reasons. When stores provide free parking, the expensive costs of providing the space are subsidized out of their profits. By paying $20 to walmart, you are helping them to subsidize free parking which encourages driving.

In reality of course it is not private developers who are at fault for doing this since for the last 50 years the government has forced retailers and everyone else to provide off street parking spaces. Because the government requires more parking spaces than is needed it creates and oversupply. Parking spaces become so devalued that they can not be charged for. In effect I end up patronizing places in structures which were built before the laws came into effect.

Another reason is that I would not want a strip mall, shopping centre or box store next to me or in my neighbourhood so why support it. Many people are angry at private corportations like Walmart or McDonalds, but still buy products from them. You are able to cast your vote for government in an election (among other ways). Most people forget that they can also vote for private corporations by using their pocket books.
But green22, what about people shopping for groceries, televisions, stereos, furniture, etc.? Something like clothes you can carry home on the subway, but not a 52" t.v. Many places have delivery, but there's no way they could handle delivering to ALL their customers.

Sorry, I thought I put the link to the article in there, I'm not sure what happened:

You make it sound like you think that everyone in this city owns a car. Plenty of people don't, and yet they still have TVs and couches. For that matter, how do you think they manage in Europe?
But green22, what about people shopping for groceries, televisions, stereos, furniture, etc.? Something like clothes you can carry home on the subway, but not a 52" t.v. Many places have delivery, but there's no way they could handle delivering to ALL their customers.

Ever heard of taxi?
The choice of mode used for buying televeisions, groceries etc is mainly cultural, and differs by income, city, suburb and Country. In NYC plenty of tv's have been moved on the subways, by bike by pedestrian cart, shopping cart and loading wheel.

When there are plenty of cars around, there is little reason to consider alternate methods which might expend more personal energy, or time. Besides in nations with high levels of car ownership walking to stores and other places is either impractical, unpleasant and all but illegal.

The residents of China are still 99% car free and so Shanghai has always been designed taking bikes and pedestrians into consideration. The Chinese government is now trying to alter the transportation modal split as quickly as possible. It wants to be the world's largest car (not cheap bike) maker.

New York's car ownership rate keeps dropping so that it is now almost 1 in 5 owning cars. (Take suburban Statten I. out of the equation and it would be even lower.)

Dream machines: China is not yet an auto-culture but..

Quiz for the Mayoral candidates, (interesting NYC facts)
Given the way this town's taxi drivers drive, I wouldn't want a brand-new $3000 t.v. to be transported in one, but to each his own.
I no longer think that a theatre is the best option for this corner. Why not another large department store? Macy's or Bloomingdale's? How about the Bay moves across the street to the southeast corner to allow the owners of current store to do an extensive renovation?
"Toronto is a very centric city..."

I always love reading the contorted business-speak of these articles. Thanks for the post Ontario1976.

The article makes it sounds like US retailers are homesteading on the frontier in Canada where almost-American-but-startingly-strange shoppers drive in the freezing cold to shop in overtaxed heated malls on weird holidays in widely dispersed cities that despite the malls also seem to have quaint European-style "centric" dense downtowns. Is this from the Hitchhikers Guide to a Weird Retail Galaxy?? (hey Madge them Canadians sure are different...or somthin')

I guess the fact they are recognizing differences is something...BUT..

US retailers have to be careful because they might have to IMPORT goods from ports on the WEST COAST which in Canada is THOUSANDS of kilometres AWAY... wow thanks for the warning...
Here's some more info on the Ikea city centre store that's to be a prototype for Ikea.
IKEA unveils first city centre location in Coventry
Friday September 9 2005

Architects have designed what could be the first city centre store for IKEA in the UK

The international leading home furnishings retailer has submitted a planning application for its proposed new store, in response to Government policy which now discourages out-of-town development in favour of regenerating city centres.

The challenge is to produce a multi-storey design solution incorporating a building aesthetic appropriate to the character of the city centre, rather than to an out-of-town retail park. The chosen site is currently occupied by a Co-op superstore which will close in January 2006. The result is a 4 story retail space of 23,850 sq m - reflecting a more flexible IKEA approach - with stores built on much smaller sites, of compact design, with elevational details that respect the urban environment.

The store has been designed to contribute to the architecture of the city. The building envelope features extensive glazing, making it as transparent as possible when viewed from the street, so that the store is alive and attention seeking, by day and after dark. The use of zinc cladding is integral to the building’s sustainability, and other environmental features being considered within the design include biomass heating and rainwater harvesting. Translucent cladding, in areas such as the warehouse, reduces the amount of artificial lighting required during long periods as well as creating a point of interest.

The design also has to address people flow through the 4 storey building, culminating in them leaving the store with bulky purchases. Car parking on site, with immediate access to the store, is provided for 900 cars over 3 levels. This facility will be available to the general public, as well as to IKEA customers, making a significant contribution to the city centre.

The importance of store location planning and location research has never been more important for retailers chasing customers in the toughest retail environment for a decade. GeoBusiness Solutions are running a one day conference called Profitable Decision Making Through Predictive Analytics which includes speakers from Tesco, and Home Depot for more information go to:
Downtown Ikea

Storefront at 143 King East (building on the southside of King just east of St James) has Ikea signs up. Thankfully very tasteful (no blue signs). Are they doing a promotion or do we have a small Ikea opening downtown?
If downtown got an Ikea, that would be nuts. We already have more stores in the GTA than any other city in the world, last I checked anyway.
The 2 in Toronto, Vaughan and Burlington. Okay Burlington isn't GTA, but close enough.
I definately think there is a market for it downtown... I know people like to knock Ikea... But their products are of decent quality and price and fit well in the smaller urban homes.... What is the size of the lot?
143 King East is not a "lot" it is one unit in a strip of historic buildings with retail on the ground floor and offices above. It's been empty for quite a while, but recently housed an upscale furniture showroom, if I recall. However the retail area can't be more than a few thousand square feet and it is hard to envision anything like IKEA fitting in there, unless it was some sort of very specialized little outlet (say, just office furniture or something) but the rents on that space must be very high, too high to justify selling $99 bookshelves.

Google tells me there is a business called Caseware IDEA Inc. with offices on the second floor of 143 King East... you sure you didn't just see their sign out of the corner of your eye, maybe?

Edit: Here is a photo and link to the Doors Open 2008 info page for this building from a few months back.