What is a concept store?
It is a shop that sells a carefully curated and unique selection of products that connect to an overarching theme. Often they evoke a lifestyle that appeals to a specific target audience – they are inspirational. Handpicked products are pulled together from different brands and designers, and they usually span different lines, such as fashion, beauty and homewares. In addition, the display mixes these lines and products together in an attractive fashion.
Concept stores are about discovery and experience. So the products and design tend to change regularly to keep telling that story in new and interesting ways. Many of them offer extra experiential elements such as a café or events space, which help build a community around the lifestyle they embody.
Ikea is going to open a sustainable concept store in London during summer 2017. It will be situated at the Millennium Way Retail Park in Greenwich. This new store will focus on sustainability and community.
“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do,” said Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability Ikea U.K. and Ireland.
The concept store will feature a new roof pavilion, a biodiverse garden and a community garden. (Ikea Lab also just releases free Designs for a garden sphere that feeds a neighborhood.) Solar panels and rainwater harvesting will ensure to be energy and resource efficiency. Ikea also want this new location to be a new spot for social gatherings by hosting a series of events and programs. Ikea also want to educate their customers about sustainable practices and promote green transportation offering 75 spaces for bikes, as well as 20 charging stations for electric cars. The store is also served by six bus routes.
They want the store to be the lung of the district and want to involve the neighbors as much as possible. This is why they are partnering with the Greenwich Borough Council and Greenwich Local Labour and Business to recruit employees. This new store will create 500 new jobs.
Richard Rands, Ikea U.K. deputy property manager, said the company wants to create a “unique and exciting space that will act as a place to meet, learn, share and shop, enhancing the ways we engage with our customers, the local community and stakeholders.”
Sustainability is an area of focus for Ikea. They recently bought forests to keep tighter control over the wood they use to produce.They also said they would offer more repair and recycle products.