Ikea has launched a new form of sales service in Spain as it moves forward with plans to introduce a full-fledged internet store in the next two to three years.
The heart of the system is a pick-up point located just outside of Pamplona, in the northern region of Navarre.
Under the system, customers check the Ikea website to find their desired items, place an order by email, and then collect their purchases at the pick-up point.
This serves two purposes for the Swedish multinational: it creates a presence in a region where it has no stores, and launches a new form of “multichannel” sales that Ikea wants to popularize in the coming years.
There is no dedicated website, online payments are not accepted, and customers have to pick up orders personally
However, the system is not a full internet sales service: there is no dedicated website or application, online payments are not accepted, and customers have to personally pick up their orders.
The Ikea website will offer customers a “Click and Pick-Up” option that will guide them through the process of placing an email order.
In February, Communications and Sustainability Director Arturo García said Ikea wanted to offer online sales in two to three years, and blamed the delay on the complexities of adapting the logistics of a company that sells at low prices because the customer “takes it home and puts it together.”
The new pick-up point, which will begin operating from Tuesday, includes a warehouse and a small selection of products that customers can purchase in person.
Ikea has already conducted a few experiments with alternative sales systems, but the company notes that this is the first establishment of its kind to open in the world.
Unlike existing pick-up points in the Balearics, the Canary Islands and other parts of the world, the Pamplona center will also enable visiting customers to place new orders from the full range of Ikea products with help from on-site personnel, and make direct purchases from a limited range of accessories.
The new center marks a change in Ikea’s strategy in Spain, where until now it had focused on megastores of around 40,000 square meters. These pick-up points are a way to open up more stores in a limited way and at lower cost.
The Pamplona site represents “Ikea’s evolution towards new formats, contact options and channels, allowing us to reach a greater number of people, without renouncing the development of our main channel, the Ikea store as we know it,” said García in a recent company press release.
The multinational’s goal is “for 80 percent of Spanish homes to have an Ikea establishment less than an hour’s drive away, and for 100 percent of consumers to have access to our range of products and services via distance sales.”