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Where Ikea fail

August 25, 2011

Location…

Location…

                                                                          Location…

Don’t get me wrong Ikea are the number one furniture store on the planet but I don’t know if you noticed but the first time u go to an Ikea you invariably get lost!  That is because they are sited normally in areas that have suffered from low urban renewal for some time.

Getting to an Ikea store can be stressful stuff… does that work for them or against?

Here in Italy the recent opening of the Parma Ikea had me wondering what the hell goes wrong when the business strategy team step outside their carefully indoctrinated comfort zone – the 30% reduction signs are up and the crowds are way down.  The location of the Parma and Croydon shops are classic examples of getting urban distribution all wrong and here’s why.

Parma Ikea Location

The shop is located right alongside the motorway so quite often one associates the Ikea experience as being something you just simply pass by!!

It is located on the unpopular east side of the city, alongside the Barilla manufacturing plant adjacent to the prison.  Now for local Parmigiani that raises eyebrows immediately!  Couple with that Ikea is targeting a wide catchment area which this location denies.

15km along the autostrada toward Piacenza and Milan is Fidenza Village, a sprawling mall serving fashion Outlet stores.  The beauty of this location is it draws the Parma crowd and also the Piacenza city catchment.  It wins two markets… not only that the nearby towns of Fiourenzuola and Fidenza also stop and shop in the village.

This kind of location would have doubled customer flows for Ikea.  On the East side of town it is in an unpopular no-go zone and declining.

The Croydon Store

Same story situated in Purley way the store is on the edge of London and Croydon‘s high population density areas.

Coming to the store from South London is a hard difficult stop start drive cutting across all kinds of traffic clusters and clogged arteries.

In terms of catchment it finds itself in a fading out area bordering on Surrey – a place where only the lowly shop seriously at Ikea.

So how well do you feel Ikea do placing their stores around your world?

Would it be better to do this differently… like compact stores such as Ikea Kitchen and Bath? Ikea spare parts stores etc??

Post a comment and I will reply by return…

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