Ikea has plans to open two new planning studios in the spring, one in Long Beach and one in a central location that is being finalized.

At the planning studios, people will be able to book appointments with design specialists who can help them select and order furniture for their homes. It will differ from a traditional Ikea store in that customers will not be able to take anything home with them the same day and will instead have to wait for it to be delivered.

“Ikea is transforming to better meet the needs of our customers, and we are excited to strengthen our presence in Los Angeles and be where people are — whenever and however they want to meet Ikea,” Javier Quiñones, Ikea U.S. chief executive, said in a statement. “We’ve seen that customers are still eager for in-person experiences.

That’s why we’re investing heavily in brick-and-mortar locations and newer, more accessible store formats like the two L.A. planning studios — in addition to ecommerce.”

Locally, Ikea has large-format stores in Burbank, Carson and Covina.
The Long Beach location will consist of 8,000 square feet at the Long Beach Towne Center at 7611 Carson Blvd. That site and the yet-to-be-announced second location in L.A. will be Ikea’s first planning studios on the West Coast.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.’s Scott Burns and Kien Tsoi represented Ikea in the lease and work with the company on its Southern California real estate.
Burns said the new store was an opportunity for Ikea to reach more people.

“In urban markets, dense urban markets like we have in Southern California and specifically L.A., they have a strong network of existing stores, and they do well,” Burns said. “They serve a large majority of our population, but the reality is, for most of the population, it takes a long time to get there. … This is an effort to reach more customers and be closer to them and closer to where they live and make it an easier shopping experience. That’s really what’s driving this.”

He added that Ikea was looking at “filling the gaps” when it chooses which markets to open planning studios in. Specifically, regarding the Long Beach location, Burns said its local status made it desirable.

“It’s the dominant power center in that part of the region. It’s freeway visible and freeway accessible. Power retail has done very well and continues to do very well through the pandemic,” he said. “Unlike their large stores that are generally by themselves, a beacon on a freeway anywhere you go, for this one, it is really the strength of the surrounding tenants that are already there (that) is a draw.”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.