Perhaps an unlikely choice, but Ikea and Volvo have both chosen Warsaw, Poland as the home for their new concepts.
First up is Ikea. The Swedish brand’s new Centre for Business aims to help entrepreneurs and small businesses. It recognises that businesses have a different set of needs and priorities when it comes to furniture shopping, so this space streamlines Ikea’s vast catalogue accordingly. Sales staff have a more hands-on approach to guiding customers towards their needs and provide interior design and practical help in buying the right products. On top of this, the space also serves as a sort of small business hub with free hot drinks and meeting rooms that can be rented out.
Ultimately Ikea wants this centre to be a place that inspires entrepreneurs from various industries and helps them get on their feet. This is a great way to encourage brand loyalty and community amongst a different type of customer, and is a nice new format to add to its growing roster.
Volvo has brought a different kind of car buying experience to Warsaw with a space that offers a more lifestyle-led experience. The downtown store is meant to be a cultural hub that will host evening events with music gigs and drinks. The interior of the store looks more like a Scandi coffee shop with blonde wood Mid Century tables, copper lights and a blackboard scrawled with the offers of the day. Guests can browse the cars, organise a test drive – and of course buy on the spot – but this is meant to foster a slower pace and a more modern experience. It’s a nice step forward for a brand that can often be associated with the words ‘safe’ and ‘reliable’.