With the BRC (British Retail Consortium) reporting the 14th month of consecutive footfall decline to physical shopping destinations in January it’s easy to see why current feeling around the physical shopping experience is all doom and gloom.
But, positive signs are emerging that retailers are creatively and ambitiously reimagining rather than ditching the physical shopping experience. Step forward Ikea and the launch of their first full size London store in 14 years.
The new Greenwich Ikea store is probably best described as a sustainability hub rather than a traditional store as we know it. In a building featuring solar panels, 100% LED lighting and rainwater harvesting technologies, Londoners are invited not just to shop but to use (for free) the on-site community garden and roof pavilion.
They’re also encouraged to live Ikea’s sustainability mantra via the Learning Lab – a dedicated space for discovering how to up-cycle products, reduce waste and grow your own food.
A suite of convenient delivery options including a bike courier service completes the new look experience and encourages customers to ditch their cars and: ‘simply bring their keys, phone and wallet and we’ll sort the rest.’
It’s a compelling picture and one that demonstrates that a digital drive (such as that being undertaken by Ikea) can work hand in hand with putting shopping back at the heart of the community again.
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