IKEA exec explains how the chain's upcoming store in Queens will be the first of its kind in the US

Hollis JohnsonThe new IKEA will open in Queens in 2020, but don’t expect a traditional blue big box.
  • IKEA is set to open a store in Rego Park, Queens, in the summer of 2020.
  • The new location won’t be a traditional blue big box, however.
  • IKEA US COO Leontyne Green Sykes told Business Insider that the store will feature a hybrid format, with some products available for immediate purchase.
  • Other larger items, like furniture, will be on display and available for delivery.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The IKEA store coming to Queens in 2020 will be the first location of its kind to open in the United States.

New York City already has two IKEA locations: a classic blue box store in Brooklyn and a planning studio on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. But the store in Rego Park’s Rego Centre won’t look like either of those locations, in terms of its layout.

The upcoming store is set to feature a hybrid format. Shoppers will be able to purchase portable products at the Queens store and order bigger-ticket items like furniture for delivery.

“We talk a lot about how New Yorkers live and their need for creative solutions to be able to maximise the space that they have,” IKEA US COO Leontyne Green Sykes told Business Insider.

Green Sykes said that the global retailer has already unrolled similar concepts in Hong Kong and Paris, but that this will be the first store with this format to open in the United States. The 115,000-square-foot Queens store will open in the summer of 2020 and employ around 200 workers.

According to Green Sykes, Queens represented “an opportunity” for the company, and the new format will allow public-transportation-dependent shoppers to purchase IKEA furniture in a convenient manner. At the same time, the COO said that the location will still cater toward consumers’ “gratification” at being able to buy certain products and to immediately “start incorporating in your everyday life.”

Read more: IKEA exec reveals how opening a new kind of location will help it win in e-commerce

“We know that there’s an affinity for IKEA products,” she said. “So it really is consistent with our overall strategy of how we make IKEA more accessible.”

Green Sykes said that the company is still in the process of determining the store’s exact product assortment, but shoppers will be able to purchase the kinds of items available in the Market Hall section of the big-box stores – namely, home furnishings and accessories.

While this mid-sized format will lack a “traditional” IKEA restaurant, it will feature a new “grab-and-go” feature, along with the chain’s classic Swedish staple.

“What I can guarantee you is that we will have meat balls,” Green Sykes said.

She said that the new format doesn’t signal a shift “away from the larger version of the IKEA store,” although it is an opportunity for the company to potentially begin to enter specific urban markets.

“When we start to think about what we might want to do in LA or Chicago, the format could look very differently based on that market specific needs when it comes to home furnishing,” she said.

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