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IKEA announces new stores to open this year - but there’s a twist

An IKEA planning studio sign on the interior of a building.
IKEA is opening new Planning Studios around Australia. (Source: Provided)

IKEA Australia is set to open new customer meeting points in Australia, called Planning Studios, this year.

The first IKEA Planning Studio will open in northwest Melbourne before the end of the year, with an additional location looking to be secured in Newcastle, which will be a first for the NSW city.

The first-of-their-kind meeting points form part of the retailer’s growth strategy for Australia, and will provide new ways for IKEA to become more accessible and convenient for many Australians.

Unlike the traditional big blue boxes, a Planning Studio, between just 300 and 500 square metres in size, is a place where customers can plan and order complex home-furnishing products and services such as kitchens, wardrobes and console units.

IKEA said each studio would have a collection point close by where customers could pick up their products.

Unfortunately for those who love the Swedish meatballs, there will be no immediate food on site. The main focus will be in assisting customers to create their home-furnishing solutions.

Where in Australia will the new IKEA stores open?

  • Northwest Melbourne, Victoria

  • Newcastle, New South Wales

An infographic showing the locations of the new IKEA stores.
New IKEA stores will be in Victoria and New South Wales. (Source: Yahoo)

“The goal for our expansion is simple: we will be where the many people are, offering more people the ability to choose when, where, and how they want to engage with IKEA,” IKEA Australia CEO Mirja Viinanen said.

“Convenience is at the heart of our strategy.

“We will continue to transform and test new formats, like the new Planning Studios, to be able to meet our customers where it is convenient for them, and we are constantly researching where this need is the greatest to inform our expansion strategy.”

The two IKEA Planning Studios for Australia will gather important customer insights and feedback during the initial months of opening.

Based on their success, IKEA Australia will consider opening additional Planning Studios in 2023 - initially in Melbourne with potential for more across the rest of the country.

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