Swedish retail behemoth Ikea is experimenting with a pop-up store concept in a busy section of downtown Toronto.The company’s goal is to challenge visitors to think a little outside the box. The store is pretty small-scale and features only a few dozen products, but it brings to the forefront an interactive shopping experience designed to engage consumers. Upon entry to the store, customers are provided with an RFID-enabled wooden spoon in lieu of the standard cart or basket. The concept of the store and how to proceed is fully explained, and shoppers are on their way to experience a high-tech shopping experience.
To say that the futuristic spoon helps to guide shoppers through a very different shopping experience would be a bit of an understatement. As shoppers browse their way through the pop-up store and find an item that they must have, they simply tap the spoon on a sensor on the shelf to have it added to their order. Checkout brings another opportunity for the spoon to show off its stuff, as the spoon is tapped on another sensor to confirm the order and pay via swiping a card. Ikea employees will retrieve the selected products immediately and send the happy shoppers on their way.
This new way of shopping is not the only ‘wow’ factor for the Ikea pop-up concept. The store also offers several virtual reality headsets that give shoppers a view of kitchen set designs in an interactive manner. Want to see what it would be like for that new design that caught your eye to make its way into your home? The headset will give you a glimpse and let you know if it’s right for you.
Lauren MacDonald, Ikea Canada’s deputy marketing manager, provided some more insight on the pop-up concept. “The Ikea Pop-up Experience is part of a 360-degree campaign which supports the Ikea global theme of ‘It Starts With The Food’, which is built off the insight that food unites us,” she said.
Overall, Ikea hopes that shoppers will rethink how they look at food and cooking, courtesy of the pop-up store. Additionally, the company continues to expand its e-commerce and digital initiatives throughout Canada, and concepts like the pop-up stores and additional pickup points for Ikea products are helping to broaden the market for the retailer.
“The pickup and order points are allowing Ikea to expand quickly into markets that have been identified as having potential, resulting in Ikea becoming more accessible to Canadians,” Stefan Sjostrand, president of Ikea Canada.