brings the out-of-town brand to an iconic and busy shopping mall. Ikea makes full use of its tight 9,500sq ft floor space to spark the imagination.

Even within this

limited space, Ikea brings to life a wide variety of contemporary ways of living and provides the entire extended range through omni-channel technology. By blending the convenience of online shopping with rich story- telling techniques, the brand has found an effective way of reaching Londoners, who previously had to travel further to larger stores or order online.

Create a narrative

Storytelling of this kind could be an exciting opportunity for DIY stores, especially when combined with the ease of online ordering. Clearly, there is a hunger for home improvement projects but customers walking into a store with a project in mind are unlikely to be inspired by an overwhelming array of individual products. It is the job of stores to weave these component parts into meaningful narratives through carefully-conceived merchandising and displays.

Retailers can smooth the journey further by offering guidance on how to get the most out of the

products with workshops,

demonstrations or consultation areas. This may even galvanise the so-called Do-it-for-me generation – younger home owners who rely on professionals or their parents – to have a go themselves. If brands, like Mothercare, can create a business around events with mothers, then there must be opportunities for DIY stores to capitalise on this desire to learn.

Take customers on a journey The most successful DIY retailers are

those who are with their

customers every step of the way, not only with the patio-in-progress and the couple covered in grout, but with the sunny garden party and the gleaming bathroom suite, which in turn, become an inspiration to their neighbours. A layer of storytelling in any

store can help customers imagine new, better, easier and more rewarding lives for themselves. DIY retailers have the unique opportunity to collaborate with them along an entire journey of a project that could take weeks, months or even years. It is not just a single shopping journey. Ultimately, DIY retailers need to

capture people’s imaginations at every step and work with them in exciting, new and meaningful ways.


A look inside Ikea at Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford, where the Swedish home furnishing retailer uses every inch of its smaller footprint in order to inspire shoppers to update their home interiors


wedish retailer Ikea opened the doors of its new Westfield Stratford City order and collection Point last August, the

fourth of its kind in the UK and the first of the new format in London. The 900sq m unit extends Ikea’s

reach and bring its home furnishing range to even more customers – all part of the retailer’s UK expansion plans

to make the brand more accessible to the Britissh public. The pocket-sized Ikea stores act primarily as a planning studio to design and plan complex purchases, such as kitchens, wardrobes and sofas. However, they also feature the classic Ikea room sets to help offer customers with the inspiration and ideas they need. In order to squeeze this notable Ikea feature into a much smaller footprint, The Hurst Group, which fitted the Stratford store, was tasked with creating five ‘concept design houses’. These display houses showcase the inspirational lifestyle sets over two levels, maximising floorspace and creating a dramatic effect at the entrance of the store and were created using a slimline mezzanine system and structured insulated panels.

Specialised wall finishes were

also installed throughout the store, including peg walls, to display products in a creative and quirky way, whilst also making use of the full height of the wall space. A fraction of the size of a standard Ikea store, the Stratford order and collection point can’t carry the full product range to take home but stocks a small range of selected “market hall” items that customers can take away on the day. They can then browse and order from the full Ikea online range instore and choose delivery to home or to the collection point. The company will be trialling a number of similar order and collection points across the UK.

12 MAY 2017 DIY WEEK 11

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