If you find yourself getting lost in Ikea despite the maps and lighted arrows pointing the way, fear not: A new, more customer-friendly store layout might be coming your way.
Ikea's maze-like showroom is almost as iconic as its Poang chairs and Kallax bookcases. But after a test run in Poland, an Ikea in Shanghai, China, is being revamped with a brand new concept that does away with the chain's well-worn, twisty path. It's being called the "Home Experience of Tomorrow," and it features a store layout with "open squares and calm spaces" where customers can interact, connect and recharge, similar to how space is used in homes. Color, not projected arrows, will help people find their way.
There will also be community hubs where customers can interact with each other and Ikea products by way of cooking classes, product demonstrations, and other events. A maker's hub, for example, would have experts, customers, and employees sharing how to customize and repair products, a subject that's extremely popular in online communities devoted to hacking Ikea finds.
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Sustainability will also be a focus of the new layout, with an emphasis on "circularity and living within sustainable means" through workshops and other events. That also means an exciting development for bargain hunters: The store's "As-Is" section, where shoppers can score deals on scratch-and-dent items, is going to get bigger.
Though the revamp is currently slated only for China and Europe, if all goes well there, it may not be long before your local Ikea gets a less-confusing face-lift.