IKEA Xuhui in Shanghai is trialling a radically new IKEA retail experience built around empowering customers with meaningful experiences, interactive events and social co-creation.
From mid-August 2021, IKEA Xuhui will be testing an innovative retail concept centred around enabling people to live a better and healthier life within the limits of the planet. Called the “Home Experience of Tomorrow”, the transformation includes an innovative new design and incorporates new technology, new ways to shop, and a focus on emotional and empowering customer experiences.
“People have higher expectations for home, and a greater desire to belong in the community and social life,” says Anna Pawlak-Kuliga, Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer for China. “The essence of retail is to serve people. With the debut of the brand-new “Home Experience of Tomorrow” and the innovation on home furnishing retailing, IKEA hopes to continue to inspire consumers to explore their ideal and meaningful home life, and to bring inspiration for social co-creation outside one’s home,” she explains.
Stepping beyond the big blue box
For those familiar with the guided path typical to existing IKEA stores, IKEA Xuhui will offer a significant change in direction. Instead, the new layout will expand into a mix of open squares and calm spaces, inviting visitors to interact, connect and recharge. With vibrant spaces for events and co-creation and quiet places for restful peace, the store is designed to be a place where visitors can better actualise how they would like their life at home to be. Colour will be used to allow easy navigation through each area, giving visitors more choice in how they would like to use the store.
The new layout will expand into a mix of open squares and calm spaces, inviting visitors to interact, connect and recharge.
Community-hubs and Meeting-places
Continuing the experience-rich focus, visitors will also be able to connect in ‘community hubs’ which are physical spaces for hosting workshops, knowledge-sharing, and entertainment. The hubs will act as mini-venues,with activities like product launches, cooking classes, and a broadcast centre where employees and influencers can produce content. One example of this is the ‘makers hub’, a repair space where customers, employees, and local experts can share their skills and work on circular projects focusing on customisation and repairing. Testing tomorrow’s life at home experience is another major step in our ambition to truly fulfil the potential of our stores, and, as a relevant retailer, bring the latest life at home experiences to meet our customers’ dreams and needs. IKEA Xuhui will be the first IKEA store to test out the new life at home experience.
Open meeting places are designed to encourage interaction and community
New at IKEA Xuhui – Exploring and learning about new home furnishing trends: Customers can be guided by our home furnishing experts with a shared passion for home furnishings, from inspiration to co-creation of new projects.
An inspirational centre for sustainable living: With in-depth workshops and knowledge sharing, the store will be a centre for exploring circularity and living within sustainable means. This will be backed by an extensive As-Is section.
A place for creativity and energy: The store is designed to be a place where visitors can play, connect and recharge. With vibrant spaces for events and quiet places for calm, colour will be used to allow visitors to orient themselves.
A complete omnichannel approach: Customers will have greater flexibility to order whatever and whenever they want, delivered sustainably to their homes.
Visitors will also be able to connect in hubs which are physical spaces for hosting workshops, knowledge-sharing and entertainment.
Stefan Vanoverbeke, Global Deputy Retail Operations Manager, IKEA Retail, says of the store opening: “This is an exciting and important step in IKEA’s journey to creating the life at home experience of the future, and a better life at home for the many people.
“The IKEA Shanghai Xuhui is a culmination of IKEA’s deep retail expertise and understanding of how customers now want to shop in our stores and live in their own homes. It was created by internal and external specialists, experts in consumer behaviour, food, expansion, mega trends, and futurology. As a result, we’re providing not only high quality and affordable items, but breath-taking moments and enriching experiences that will drive visitation and offer an enhance shopping experience.
“I’m thrilled we could bring the first ‘next gen’ store to a futuristic fast-moving market such as Shanghai. We’re looking forward to trialling every different element, learning what works best and continuing to adapt along with IKEA customers.”