What can we look forward to from IKEA in the year 2020?
This year IKEA has many reasons to celebrate. The first is the recent launch of our 2020 catalogue and the second is IKEA’s new store opening this winter. It will be our second and biggest store in Dubai, located in Jebel Ali.
In addition to this, a challenge we took up this year was to redesign the IKEA website and bring it on par with technological advancements. Our new website is now more mobile friendly, provides a seamless checkout experience and the cherry on the cake is — the launch of our Mobile App. The app enables customers to visualise IKEA furniture in their homes through augmented reality inspiring them to shop and recreate the space they live in.
I am also delighted to say that we are now available to IKEA fans in Oman. Customers can shop online through the company’s UAE website and at a minimal cost, can request for door-to-door delivery and assembly service.
As a first, starting September 2019, we introduced free delivery service to UAE customers, which does not require a minimum spend. It is a limited time offer and has received a very positive response from our customers.
The new IKEA store will be our third full-size store in the UAE, based in Al-Futtaim’s Festival Plaza in Dubai South. It is spread across 32,500 square metres including a 5,000-square-metre training area for IKEA employees. The navigation tower, standing at 70m, which has become a signature emblem of IKEA around the world, will be the world’s tallest IKEA navigation tower.
Over the coming months, we look forward to our winter collection launch along with the launch of Let’s Play! — a strong narrative around play that we have created for IKEA over the past three years.
What can you tell us about the new store?
The new IKEA store will be our third full-size store in the UAE, based in Al-Futtaim’s Festival Plaza in Dubai South. It is spread across 32,500 square metres including a 5,000-square-metre training area for IKEA employees. The navigation tower, standing at 70m, which has become a signature emblem of IKEA around the world, will be the world’s tallest IKEA navigation tower. There will also be a new café area, the first of its kind in the region where we will be able to serve freshly baked pastries and traditional Swedish desserts. The strategic location in Jebel Ali will give access to all our customers living in south Dubai, which also includes shoppers from Jebel Ali, Al Furjan, Dubai Marina and commuters from neighbouring Abu Dhabi. It’s also just a few minutes away from the RTA Energy Metro Station.
What kind of an experience can IKEA shoppers expect at the new store?
Every year, we aim to find new and improved ways of bringing solutions to our customers to enhance their experience at IKEA. In today’s digital savvy age, digital solutions are equally important to achieve that. We have introduced three digital solutions in our new store which will help improve our customers’ shopping experience.
Firstly, home planning wall projectors will allow customers to be able to easily visualise products in their home and make decisions around elements including rug sizes and mattress selection. For example, they can play with their space by projecting the required rug size on the floor and placing furniture on it, giving them real time experience. There are approximately 16 planners built across the store in various locations.
Throughout the main showroom, digital signage and projector solutions will provide customers with information about the range of products available as well as serving as a guide through the store.
Finally, self-ordering terminals and self-service kiosks at the cafeteria will be installed to improve service, speed and customer satisfaction.
Is the new store built with sustainability in mind?
The new store is being built with sustainability at its core and will contribute to our efforts in this direction. Solar panels will enable our store to receive more than 20% of its energy from the sun while efficient AC units and motion-based lighting helps us save energy that could power over 400 homes for an entire year. Following the success we had in our store in Dubai Festival City, which of course will still be operational, we will also recycle 90 per cent of our operational waste annually in the new store. Our target at IKEA is to use only renewable or recycled materials for our products by 2030.