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IKEA Launches 1st Small-Format Design Studio for Canadian Market

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IKEA in Canada has just launched a new standalone concept offering a dedicated space for personalized design services with IKEA experts and one-on-one planning.

The IKEA Design Studio’s first location is in Oshawa, Ontario and it’s just one of several in development. The Oshawa location is designed to reach out to the retail giant’s customers in the Greater Toronto Area.

Niclas Jarnkrok

Toronto Area Manager Niclas Karlsson-Järnkrok said the new concept for the Canadian market allows customers to design and order complex home furnishing systems for the kitchen, bath, bedroom and living room by scheduling one-on-one planning sessions with a trained IKEA design expert or via a self-service planning station in a dedicated studio space.

“Our ambition is to become more accessible to GTA residents by bringing IKEA closer to them and offering new, convenient services that meet their growing needs,” he said. “The IKEA Design Studio is one of the many ways we’re enabling our customers to interact seamlessly with IKEA, especially as we continue to evolve the spaces in our homes to meet the changing demands of our lives at home.

“The Design Studio supports our total GTA market approach. Our ambition is to keep making IKEA more affordable and more accessible and also convenient for many more people. The Design Studio will help customers design, plan, order and purchase their personalized solutions but focusing more on the complex purchases around kitchens and bathrooms and bedrooms where we see the need for getting the specialist support or help with the planning component is more needed.

Image: IKEA

“This is a way to actually create more accessibility for that type of service in this case the Durham region where we also know many customers today don’t think we are accessible enough when it comes to this type of service.”’

He said planning is also available for businesses at the Design Studio.

The first Design Studio is located inside the Oshawa Centre at 419 King Street West.

Karlsson-Järnkrok said it is quite a bit smaller than a traditional IKEA store but will showcase the full IKEA range through digital solutions along with a small, curated selection of product samples on display. It’s a private space for customers to connect with IKEA’s expert planners and create personalized home furnishing packages. Purchases made at an IKEA Design Studio can be delivered directly to customers’ homes or picked up at local IKEA Pick-up locations, including 980 Thornton Road S, Unit #4 in Oshawa, Ontario.

Karlsson-Järnkrok said the concept exists in some other countries, mainly in Europe.

“We see more places in and around the GTA. We have a similar opportunity when it comes to being more accessible and convenient. Of course, this is the first one we’re opening. We have more in the plans and I think it’s really important for us to continue to learn together with our customers to evolve and develop this concept and improve it over the next coming period,” he said.

“When it comes to the bigger stores that we have in the GTA I think we have quite good coverage. But we have identified a number of areas where the accessibility can be improved and Durham is one of them and that is the reason we have chosen to open there.”

Founded in 1943 in Sweden, IKEA is a leading home furnishing retailer and IKEA Canada is part of Ingka Group which operates 374 IKEA stores in 30 countries, including 14 in Canada. Last year, IKEA Canada experienced 22.9 million visitors to its stores and 178.4 million visitors to IKEA.ca and the IKEA app.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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