Ikea Planning Studio Debut Marks New Expansion Chapter

Ikea launched a new chapter in its expansion in the U.S. as it opened its first Planning Studio in New York this week, a retail concept that is part prototype and part test operation, a spokesperson said.

The Planning Studio, which comes in at 17,350 square feet over three levels, had its grand opening on Monday, April 15, at 999 Third Avenue in Manhattan, just behind Bloomingdale’s. The opening follows the debut of Ikea’s 50th big blue store in Norfolk, VA, the culmination of a long large-format expansion, which is sized at 331,000 square feet.

The spokesperson said that Ikea currently has no additional retail locations in the works as the company evaluates its expansion. Ikea has announced that it would develop 30 new operations in urban centers, which will be based, in part, on the experience the company has with the Planning Studio. In the new concept, customers browse and order from a curated selection of popular Ikea items merchandised across the space in individual, group and vignette displays, and work with design staffers to create custom storage and kitchen solutions on the floor or in dedicated meeting spaces.

The spokesperson said Ikea would take some time to evaluate the New York Planning Studio before launching other urban retail operations.