Ikea is planning to invade the high streets of the UK with a network of smaller branches, where users will be able to select from a slightly limited range of furniture and won't have the fun of controlling a massive trolley in places where it looks like members of the public shouldn't be allowed.
The first such branch is planned for Tottenham Court Road in London, with UK Ikea manager Javier Quiñones saying he's made it his job to prioritise launching such smaller shops for the benefit of people without SUVs to carry things home, so they can instead buy little things to instantly regret trying to carry home on public transport. Or have them delivered via a forthcoming 24-hour delivery service. The TCR branch will focus mainly on displaying kitchen and bedroom furniture, as those are the sorts of things people like to have a look at and a bounce on before buying – and city centre folk can't commit to getting out to the suburbs to give things a try in the chain's massive warehouses.
The bad news is there will be no food kitchen and therefore no meatballs in these central branches, with Quiñones hopeful that in a few years from now high street mini Ikeas may outnumber its traditional retail park behemoths, as it's substantially quicker and cheaper to set up shop in a building that's already... built. [The Times]