Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has announced its expansion plan for the North West, starting with three new Plan & Order Points and an expanded service offering.
The initiative comes as part of the retailer’s ongoing transformation to make it easier and more accessible to shop with IKEA.
The North West is a key region for IKEA. The first IKEA store in the UK opened in Warrington 30 years ago and was later followed by a store in Ashton-under-Lyne. Now, the retailer takes the next step to strengthen its physical presence in the region with Plan & Order Points in Aintree, Preston, and Stockport.
As a complement to the bigger IKEA stores, the Plan & Order Points will provide customers with a free, bespoke design consultation with experienced IKEA kitchen and bedroom storage experts. The focus will be on bespoke kitchen and wardrobe designs, although customers will be able to get help planning any room in their home.
The units, located in retail parks and shopping centres, will be sized between 70–90 sqm, showcase around five kitchen and wardrobe solutions as well as having a consultation area.
There will be no products to take away or food for sale on site. Instead, customer orders will be transported to the customer’s home, or made available for collection to another convenient point of delivery.
Alongside the new openings, IKEA is expanding its fulfilment network in the area. Last month, they announced the launch of several ‘Collect near you’ points, located within select Tesco carparks in close proximity of the new Plan & Order points, enabling faster, cheaper and more sustainable customer deliveries.
IKEA has also invested in online and in-home planning services. This enables customers to either plan their kitchen or bedroom together with an IKEA co-worker online, or have a co-worker come to their home and plan it from there.
Marsha Smith, Deputy Country Retail Manager, IKEA UK & Ireland, says: “Our investment in the North West is part of our long-term plan to transform our retail business, making it easier for our customers to shop with us in a number of convenient ways. With a variety of stores, service offers and digital solutions that complement each other, our aim is to be there for our customers, however they want to meet us.”
“Our expert co-workers will be available to help the customers to plan affordable kitchens or bedroom – helping our customers to create a better everyday life at home. We offer a full complement of affordable services including finance, installation and assembly.”