Furniture chain Ikea has given its Arlon branch a new look: at the crossroads between Belgium, France and Luxembourg, and in an area full of expatriates, the home furnishings store will offer an adapted range.
A more regional approach
Ikea has understood that not all regions are the same. Even the global builder of great blue bricks goes for a more local approach, as the renovated store in Arlon shows. The store has been open since 2005 but has already received a complete makeover. The aim: to better respond to the "particularly diverse customer base".
Located near the borders with France and Luxembourg, the store attracts a specific range of customers, including many expats. The Swedish retailer organised a large-scale survey to get to know the customers better and consider their needs during the refurbishment.
For example, Ikea discovered that sofa beds are very popular in the area, as 31 % of its customers from Luxembourg are expats who regularly have family coming to visit. Based on the survey, the range of products on offer in the store was extended to cater to the many different income levels, also in terms of price.
Noisy living rooms
Ikea wants to create more of an experience in the showroom by making the various rooms feel even more real. They now have four walls and are equipped with sound effects: customers can hear pots and pans clattering in the kitchen. In the room next door, you can hear a teenager playing video games. Atmospheric and ultra-realistic, says Ikea, but whether customers think it is an added value remains to be seen.
In addition to a new route around the store, there will also be green patios along the course, where shoppers can take a breather. Furthermore, staff will get a more prominent role, while customers will be able to test out 'smart home' solutions via tablets in some areas.
Larger pick-up point
Soon, the store hopes to expand its pick-up point for online orders. The store already submitted a permit application to the municipality and hopes to complete the project by the summer of 2022. After all, currently, online sales in Belgium already account for 20 % of turnover, double the pre-Covid figures - and, according to the chain, that trend will continue.
The makeover involves a total investment of 2.5 million euros. It was done - wherever possible - sustainably, in line with Ikea's ambitions to be 100 % circular by 2030. For example, the old floor was not replaced but repaired.