Ikea’s new small-store format to include cafes

Customers visit the newly opened IKEA store near Zagreb on August 21, 2014. Swedish furniture giant IKEA opened its first store in the territory of the former Yugoslavia near Croatia's capital Zagreb, the first step towards expanding on the Balkans market. With a surface of some 38,000 square meters (409,000 square feet), the store is one of the company's biggest in the world and can accommodate 5,000 visitors at the same time.  AFP PHOTO / STRINGER        (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Ikea is set to trial a new small-format store concept in the UK that will include a foodservice offering within it.

The group plans to introduce ‘order and collection points’ that it hopes will bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping and offer customers a more personal service locally.

The first new format store is planned to open in Norwich in a few months’ time, followed by at least two more elsewhere in the UK. It already has an online customer base in Norfolk, but the nearest physical store is more than two hours away in either Lakeside or Milton Keynes.

Ikea has become as famous for its meatballs and value-for-money restaurant offering at its big box stores and it expects food to be an important element of the new strategy.

“The Norwich Order and Collection Point will also include a café and will have a limited range of products that customers can take home ‘on the day’,” the company stated.

Last month, Ikea launched its Breakfast in Bed Café — a temporary concept eatery where tables were replaced with beds to stimulate a breakfast in bed revolution.

Its Shoreditch-based dining room was designed as a homely-eatery created to make people feel like they can enjoy eating out in the comfort of their own bed.

Customers were able to book a bed between 7am and 12pm and were served by specially-trained waiting staff and sleep specialists.

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