Ikea have announced that their new Bromley store will open on March 28th.
The new branch will be located slap bang in the High Street and marks Ikea’s recent change in strategy away from large retail sheds – which was only announced after Greenwich’s big blue box was underway. Tottenham Court Road was the UK pioneer in this field.
The store will be located within the former Mothercare and Early Learning Centre units. As a far smaller shop it will be focused on working with customers to design rooms and home design and then arranging home delivery.
In addition there will be space for classes and demonstrations which does exist in Greenwich.
If this model takes off we are likely to see many more pop up – which begs the question of the long term future of large retail sheds. Delivery costs are key of course and the social aspect of meeting with friends for meatballs and free coffee won’t be there. Ever since opening extremely long queues for food at the new Greenwich branch have been seen – even when the rest of the store is relatively quiet.
Some have sneered but as I said long before opening – cheap food and free drinks attract many people with no intention of buying a sofa.
But smaller stores will certainly become more common. For one – many moving into flats in town centre locations will embrace popping along and arranging delivery. And secondly – the number of people under 40 who drive in the UK has fallen sharply. Online ordering is the norm now for many. That trend is particularly strong in major cities.