After Costco unveiling its strategy in China, a second global retailer has some quite innovative strategy in a foreign country. Ikea has announced three very important news about its expansion in France, and both of them focus on bringing Ikea downtown, in Paris. This is a very interesting strategy as Ikea so far has thriven in rural and urban places with its concept. But as competition is getting tough, Ikea needs to find new ways to get new customers.
Ikea testing some pick up lockers
Some companies have already had the ideas of locker to pick up goods bought online, such as Amazon, Walmart, or Dia for grocery shopping. Ikea will soon propose its own locker to pick up its furnitures. It will obviously implies large lockers, far larger than the ones operated by the other company I listed above.
The concept will be tested in France at the Lille's store. The lockers will also allow customers to use them for returns. So far this locker is only a prototype, but it could be launched at a large scales, in public transfert places such as train stations.
The invention of a "Shazaam for furnitures"
Second innovation, Ikea is working on an application that will allow the customers to take pictures of any furnitures. The application will be able to recognize the model, and for example if its an Ikea's model, to propose to buy it online.
These two ideas are very innovative, and I believe they will experience great success.
The opening of a store in downtown Paris
So far Ikea has not been looming on downtown store, but as more and more customers live in large cities, Ikea has decided to open a location in Paris. This store will be more a flagship than anything else, as the company is not forecasting any profitability of this store. Nevertheless, if Ikea is able to find the right chemistry to launch downtown locations, it may expect in a near future new business opportunities.