IKEA Is Opening a New Type of Smaller Store in the U.S. This Month—Here’s What You Can Expect
IKEA stores are known for being enormous, warehouse-like spaces that offer all the furnishings and decor you can dream of, and then some. In the last few years, though, IKEA has been opening smaller stores that offer different shopping experiences. An IKEA Planning Studio opened in the heart of New York City in 2019 with an order-only shopping model and a focus on kitchen and storage planning, and now, the first U.S. IKEA store with a smaller layout is opening in Queens, N.Y. this month.
The new store, located in the Rego Center shopping mall, covers 115,000 square feet of space, while a typical IKEA store is around 350,000 square feet. This new type of IKEA store is about half the size of the classic space, but it still has many of the same shopping features you've come to love and know from IKEA stores, including the ability to purchase and take home portable accessories from the store. (The NYC Planning Studio doesn't actually sell any items on-site.) Larger products can be ordered at the store, and flat-fee IKEA delivery can be arranged to get everything home.
For New Yorkers, this store offers an accessible, shoppable alternative to the Red Hook, Brooklyn location, which is not reachable by subway (though you can take a delightful ferry ride to get there). Rego Center is near a subway station, and while most New Yorkers will still have to set up delivery for their larger items, it makes it much easier to get smaller purchases home.
The Queens store has a full range of IKEA products with a focus on the distinctive (in other words, small-space) lifestyles of New Yorkers: The room sets and other features are focused on sustainable, small-space living solutions, with products curated to appeal to the standard New York shopper.
This new store will have self-pay and assisted checkout options, hopefully to cut down on those notorious IKEA checkout lines, and shoppers can schedule appointments with IKEA experts for help planning their spaces.
Announced in October 2019, this store was expected to open in 2020, but like everything else, COVID-19 delayed the opening—but only slightly, as it will be open in early January 2021. The new store will have physical distancing guidance, temperature checks for employees, cleaning and sanitization practices, and capacity limits to help protect employees and shoppers alike.
While the Queens store is still the first of its kind announced in the U.S., there's a good chance IKEA will consider opening similar stores in other urban areas to make shopping more accessible to carless residents. A sister company (another part of IKEA's parent Ingka Group) purchased a building in downtown San Francisco in 2020 with plans to anchor the space with an IKEA store, so new developments in other parts of the country are already in the works.