Ikea Is Coming to Town 

The furniture retailer is opening its first location near Vienna’s center. 

Let’s say you’ve just moved into your brand new apartment. Need furniture? Ikea has got your back. With 41 billion dollars in global revenue this year and 76 years of consecutive growth, the retail giant IKEA has become undeniably ubiquitous. Mostly located outside city centers, Ikea has long been an attractive all-day destination for outings with family or friends, wooing people in with its €1 hotdogs and notorious meatballs.

Today, however, shopping trends are changing.

First Ikea near city center

In an interview last month, Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin named the company’s three top challenges: accessibility, logistics, and most importantly, location. It is their dream he said, to “physically meet people in the city centers” reflecting both changing consumer behavior and the retailer’s desire to market itself as more environmentally friendly. The planned City Ikea near Westbahnhof is to be one of 30 test locations around the world. Conceptualized without a parking lot, only small items will be for sale, bigger ones will be delivered to you within 24 hours, they say.

The Viennese architecture firm Querkraft has been tasked with bringing Ikea’s new vision to life. The firm’s philosophy to “give people space” is a good fit for IKEA’s concept of a retail location that also functions as a meeting point for the surrounding community. The store is designed to be both inviting and functional, with over 160 trees, rooftop terraces, and the top floors open to the public with no obligation to buy anything, as agreed with the City of Vienna. The new location is set to open in 2021 and will share its space with hotel group JO&JOE, housing 345 beds on two floors with a welcoming €25/night price tag.

(Foto credit: zoomvp.at) 

Sophie Spiegelberger
Born in New York, raised in Moscow, Sophie now lives in Vienna where she is completing her studies in Political Science. She works as a freelance graphic designer and photographer and is a communications strategist for a congressional campaign and Democrats Abroad Austria.


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