IKEA is busy chasing the modern consumer.
The Swedish furniture and home goods retailer plans to open two new planning studios in the Los Angeles area in spring 2022, one in Long Beach and a second in another central location yet to be finalized. The new Los Angeles-area facilities will focus on providing inspiration and smart home solutions for city living tailored for California customers.
In the two planning studios, customers will be able to book appointments and get support from design specialists with planning and ordering home furnishings that require a bit more help, such as kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Customers won’t be able to take home products that day, but the studios will be equipped with delivery services for purchases.
IKEA developed the concept for these studios based on extensive market research to understand consumers, what logistical barriers they face, how they like to shop, how they live at home, and more.
“IKEA is transforming to better meet the needs of our customers, and we are excited to strengthen our presence in Los Angeles and be where people are—whenever and however they want to meet IKEA,” said Javier Quiñones, CEO and chief sustainability officer, IKEA U.S. “We’ve seen that customers are still eager for in-person experiences. That’s why we’re investing heavily in brick and mortar locations, and newer, more accessible store formats like the two L.A. planning studios—in addition to e-commerce.”
IKEA has been in the Los Angeles market since the opening of IKEA Burbank in 1990, followed by stores in Carson, Costa Mesa and Covina in 1992. IKEA Long Beach will be located in the Long Beach Towne Center at 7611 Carson Blvd, in 8000 square feet of leased space. The two new locations will be the first IKEA planning studios on the West Coast.
These planning centers come on the heels of the opening of IKEA’s first smaller store format in Queens, New York, earlier this year. That store offers full range of products in a 115,000-square-foot facility, which is about half of the usual store size. Like the Los Angeles planning centers, this store is tailored to the needs of urban living.
“Understanding that many L.A.-area residents are often frustrated by being stuck in traffic, we identified geographic areas in the market that are beyond a 30-minute drive from existing stores and where affinity to IKEA is extremely high,” said Janet McGowan, area vice president, IKEA U.S. “By opening the two planning studios in the L.A. market, we are taking the first steps to create customer meeting points that are more accessible and convenient to the many people of the L.A. market while continuing to offer smart and affordable home solutions.”
Resale pilot expands to 33 stores
The company is also making a bigger push on the sustainability front with the launch of resale centers inside 33 stores. Open from Nov. 1- Dec. 5, the expanded secondhand effort follows a Pennsylvania pilot program that bowed in September and resulted in all product getting resold instead of recycled, according to Jennifer Keesson, country sustainability manager for IKEA U.S.
“IKEA is on a journey to become a circular and climate positive business by 2030. As part of this goal, we are proud to launch the IKEA Green Friday campaign and execute the national rollout of our Buy Back & Resell service in the U.S. this year,” Quiñones said. “We want to help create a sustainable movement in society, and inspire our customers to acquire, care for and pass on IKEA products in more sustainable ways.”
“By expanding the service to more stores across the U.S., we hope to inspire more IKEA [customers] to participate and further showcase how sustainable living can be obtainable and affordable for the many,” Keesson added.
A Sustainable Living Shop launching Friday is geared at helping shoppers make climate-positive purchases. In addition to offering a curated assortment of products that meet certain sustainability criteria, the shop will also offer “green living” tips and solutions as part of its IKEA Green Friday, a spin on the consumption-centric Black Friday shopping bonanza.
For Green Friday and available at all U.S. stores from Nov 26–29, 2021, consumers will find limited-time discounts on sustainable home solutions made with renewable resources or recycled materials, or eschew harmful pollutants. Special prices will also be offered on popular food products bearing sustainability certifications such as ASC and Rainforest Alliance/UTZ.
Resale is taking off in the furniture world. Joybird offers up 55 percent discounts on pre-owned sofas, chairs and more. A recent study also found that the pandemic ignited interest in secondhand home goods. A full 48 percent of Americans purchased an item for their homes through resale in 2020, according to a research report commissioned by furnishings e-commerce retailer Chairish and conducted by Statista, And from 2017 to 2024, the global resale market is expected to triple to $130.6 billion. Plus, $16.6 billion in secondhand furniture is expected to be sold by 2025, an increase of 70 percent over 2018.