Ikea Norway says it will close its experimental inner-city stores after an unsuccessful trial seen as a bellwether for international markets.
The Swedish furniture and homewares retailer opened small-format shops in downtown Oslo, Tromso and Alesund in 2015 and 2016 to test the profitability of – and customer demand for – the concept. With smaller footprints they stocked a fraction of the SKUs of the mainstream Ikea stores, but they doubled as collection points for people to order online and collect in-store in preference to having goods home-delivered.
Now Ikea Norway says it will refocus on its e-commerce offer in the market, expanding its online catalogue and reducing delivery times.
However, trials will continue in other markets, including Hamburg, London and Paris as it targets consumer who do not have a car.
Ikea Norway is seeking to cut costs by 10 per cent to address falling profits.