business news in context, analysis with attitude

Good piece from the Wall Street Journal about IKEA's efforts to figure out a small-store strategy, which has been about as complicated as building one if the retailer's dressers.

"Ingka (which operates most IKEA stores globally) has 26 downtown IKEAs, compared with 373 big-box stores. While several early small-format stores, including in New York and Shanghai, struggled and closed, the company says it is starting to crack the code of downtown retail, which is key to its growth plans. The latest small-store design combines familiar features of its traditional stores, like its browsing path, with new technology to enable the compact format to replicate as closely as possible the experience of shopping at a larger suburban location."

You can read the entire story here.

KC's View:

Two things really stand out to me in this story.

One was how important it is to maintain consistency of brand and value proposition.  This has been an ongoing challenge for IKEA, and a process - it is not been easy, or fast.  But apparently worth it.

The other was how critical it is for retailers to find ways to reach consumers, and not expect shoppers to reach out to them.  That's simply not the way things work anymore.