IKEA Zagreb, Croatia, is the first IKEA store to operate an innovative automated warehouse that increases the store’s capacity to fulfil customers’ ecommerce orders. Thousands of best-selling IKEA products are stocked in bins, which can be automatically brought to an IKEA co-worker in just 15 seconds.
All around the world IKEA is experiencing a dramatic increase in ecommerce orders. One way IKEA is meeting this increasing customer demand is by adapting existing IKEA stores to better fulfill customer orders. Solutions like IKEA Zagreb’s automated warehouse will contribute to quick and affordable ordering options for IKEA customers, while also ensuring that IKEA products are available, both for in-store customers and for ecommerce customers.
“IKEA Zagreb is a great store experience for cash & carry customers, and at the same time, now have a faster and ergonomically better solution for co-workers that is able to efficiently fulfil customer orders as an integrated part of an omnichannel network”, says Tolga Öncü, Retail Operations Manager at Ingka Group. “We can fulfil more orders making more customers happy, without competing with the existing role of the IKEA store in the market,” he continues.
The automated warehouse uses small, radio-controlled robots to retrieve bins filled with IKEA products. It can store up to 4 times more products in the same amount of space compared to normal IKEA warehouse racking and it allows up to 60% more total volume. It’s flexible, modular and long-lasting, so it can expand as IKEA operations grow. Plus, it’s energy efficient, with 10 robots using the same amount of power as a vacuum cleaner.
The automated warehouse at IKEA Zagreb also benefits IKEA co-workers by reducing walking distances. Each product that can be stored in the automated warehouse means that a co-worker does not need to walk through the IKEA store to retrieve it.
The experience and results from this automated solution at IKEA Zagreb will contribute to learning for all IKEA stores around the world as they continue to find innovative ways to meet changing customer expectations.