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IKEA tests new store formats without mazes



The Swedish furniture giant is testing new formats in Shanghai and Vienna.
Ikea Vienna

Swedish furniture giant IKEA continues to test new retail concepts in international markets amid changing customer demands. The company is trying to bring to consumers a new model of stores, in which shopping is not the first and only purpose for visiting. 

In Shanghai, IKEA has opened a store with a particular space free of attractively priced goods. We're talking about an area that is designed for meetings with friends and family. There is also a restaurant that specializes in dishes made of farm products. Another novelty is where customers are invited to repair their old furniture and assemble new ones with the store employees.  

In Vienna, IKEA is preparing to open an unusual store, which stands out from the others with its location in the city's center. The store is oriented to customers without cars and therefore does not offer traditional parking. Instead, IKEA opens a panoramic cafe on the roof of the shopping center. 

Both outlets will be equipped with new technologies, particularly allowing their customers to scan products themselves through a mobile app to avoid large queues at the cash register. In addition, IKEA will partly refuse traditional mazes in stores - customer routes running through the entire sales area. 

Based on testing new formats, the company will decide on scaling them up in the global markets. In the coming years, the company will test new services and features for customers, maintaining interest in physical stores amid the rapid growth of the popularity of online shopping. 

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