A small, flat-packed possibility for IKEA

IKEA paramus exteriorPerhaps a pøssibility for here: IKEA is testing out a new mini-store design in Canada. From the Toronto Star (asterisk added):

The 20,000-square-foot[*] pick-up centre will feature a limited number of items for purchase and immediate takeaway and 10 tablets on site for customers to browse and buy on www.IKEA.com. It will offer services including merchandise pick-up, home delivery, assembly, planning, returns and exchanges and online sales support, according to a company release.
A regular Ikea location is about 260,000 to 340,000 square feet.

IKEA is a store that frequently pops up on the development wish list of people here in the Capital Region -- we've even heard elected officials publicly state an interest in it. But a few years back an IKEA spokesman told us firmly (and politely) that it's not going to happen because this metro falls way short** of the 2 million population mark the company uses as an initial filter for screening possible new locations.

London, Ontario -- halfway between Toronto and Detroit -- where the first test store is planned, is in a metro area with about 475,000 people.

[Thanks to Laura over at Consumerist for pointing this out.]

* For comparison: That test-store size, 20,000 square feet, is about the same size as the Fresh Market in Latham or the Price Chopper Limited in downtown Saratoga Springs.

** The Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan area had an estimated population of about 871,000 in 2014, according to the Census Bureau. (It's about 1.3 million if you draw the circle a bit wider to include places such as Western Massachusetts.)

Earlier on AOA: Which way to IKEA? Paramus vs. New Haven (2011)


I've lived near and IKEA and ample opportunity for easy return visits. Don't buy the furniture. Just don't. It's money down the drain. Spend the extra little bit of money you think you saved by buying IKEA furniture and buy something that will serve you better and longer.

However, IKEA is great for dish towels. It's great for curtains and bed linens. Pillows. Mattresses. They have nice dishes, pots and pans, and other kitchen utensils. It's a great place to buy a trash can.

The small stuff is the best stuff at IKEA. So maybe this small store would be the best of both worlds. It all depends of IKEA's plans for the store. Long on tchotchkes and short on crummy furniture would be great.

I think companies should look into the area and not just the population. Take Whole Foods and Trader Joe's they are both doing well and probably could use a larger space. With many empty sites it'd be nice to see something there.

I find this idea to be both compelling and terrifying... but, overall, I like the idea. Ok, maybe it's my WALLET that finds it terrifying ;)

Everything that is old is new again. In many small towns throughout the state, retailers like JC Penney operated what were called catalog stores (and this went on into the 1980s at least). Places without enough population to support a physical store could be served by a little storefront that basically featured a catalog, a telephone line, and somebody who could theoretically help you to place an order, and then your order would be delivered to that store.

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