Ikea is a Retail Example

I recently paid a visit to my nearest IKEA. Usually these excursions are planned. They evolve into an outing. Dinner, and perhaps a dessert. The cafeteria is a busy mixture of every group from retirees, young families, to single nesters. After the final coffee we take the usual “see what’s new” walk. The stores one way track path layout means you have to see everything on offer. The store scenes change from one area to another. Ideals for a small apartment space, a new kitchen, to an office setting. When I walked from one section to section, it reminded me of the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland. 

As I was trolling at a leisure pace I could not help but admire the brands soft sell approach. Wondering other retailers have not evolved. Department Stores and shopping malls have become dinosaurs. Any wonder why they are headed for extinction? Reading a chapter from founder Ingvar Kamprad’s book should be required for all retail executives.  A  reinvention blueprint for mass retailing.

21st Century Shopping 

2019 is a constant flow of stimuli. Customers want to be scene but alone able to plug in a device. Ikea has all of this. The store offers surprises  on every visit. As brick and mortar chains die an agonizing death it baffles me why many did not change course. The public still enjoys a day out of the house, however they prefer experience, not humdrum. Walking into many department stores, the descriptive word that pops to mind is “drab”.   All offering the same items, the same brands, the same in store concessions.  Working with formulas from the 20th century..  It is no wonder customers have been fleeing main street stores. Management blames customers not themselves for being unable to keep up with the times.  However, if a Swedish furniture store can make profits, why can’t they?

Shopping involves more than just walking into a building.    Buyers want an experience, to be a part of something satisfy different needs.   I hope retailers can figure this out before it is too late.  Todays shoppers have moved on.