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The Wall Street Journal reports that IKEA plans to spend the equivalent of $3.16 billion (US) "opening city-center stores and outfitting existing big-box locations to act as distribution hubs for online orders as the furniture giant looks to adapt to changing shopping habits."

According to the story, "The company said it would look to modify between 30% and 40% of its big-box stores so they include new additions like parcel distribution centers. Rather than increase the footprint of existing stores, it plans to redistribute space."

KC's View:

The idea of redistributing space in traditional IKEA stores makes a lot of sense considering the redistribution of sales to the e-commerce channel, but I'm even more impressed by the expansion of the retailer's city center store concept.

I've been a fan of the concept since the first time I visited the one in New York City, which I reported about here.

These stores are less about selling product than about selling solutions … it is a different approach, but one that I think is in synch with changing customer needs.