The Way We Shop at IKEA is About to Change

October 10, 2017

Big blue warehouses, often at a city’s periphery, are synonymous with the IKEA brand. The furniture-hungry trek to these monochrome temples of modernist Swedish design in search of home goods at approachable prices. But the IKEA shopping experience is about to be turned on its head.

IKEA will start to sell their furniture through third-party online retailers in a push to change the way we shop for their products. The news comes from a report in The Financial Times where the chief executive of Inter Ikea, Torbjörn Lööf, said that this move was “the biggest development in how consumers meet Ikea since the concept was founded.” No official word as to who the online retailers will be, but most speculate either Amazon or Alibaba will host the company’s flatpack furniture.

IKEA also hopes to open smaller urban locations as well as order and pick-up points and standalone kitchen showrooms. The changes reflect a desire on the part of the company to make their furniture and accessories more accessible to urban consumers. And while many of their products are already available online, this move could significantly shift the way most IKEA customers get their goods.

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Last month, IKEA got its hands on TaskRabbit, an app that lets users source people to complete tasks for them. Together, these moves represent an appeal to a more internet-savvy (read: millennial) market. What will the future of IKEA shopping look like exactly? The answer to that will just have to wait.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.