Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA has been best known for its large warehouse-style stores on the outskirts of urban areas, but now it’s testing a new “showroom concept” in Oslo. A relatively small IKEA will open on an otherwise high-end retail street in the Skøyen district on the city’s affluent west side.
“We’re hoping to attract a new segment of the public in west Oslo,” IKEA’s communications adviser Kristian Willanger told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). The idea is to encourage online shopping, but give customers a chance to also “kick the tires” and physically check out products.
“Online shopping has some barriers,” Willanger said. “Here people can touch and feel things before buying.” Instead of being able to carry items home, though, they’ll be delivered.
It’s all part of IKEA’s “multi-channel” strategy, offering products in a variety of ways. The huge retailer has already been testing out a similar “showroom concept” in Tromsø, while customers wait for a new, more traditional IKEA warehouse store to open in the northern city.
IKEA also plans to open more warehouses as well, in Vestfold, Ålesund and Vestby. Another IKEA also opened recently north of Hamar.