Hej — yes, “hi” in Swedish — IKEA fans. Two more IKEA locations will open in Maryland, bringing more access to customers closer to the Eastern Shore and farther west across the state.
By the end of the year, Annapolis and Gaithersburg will have the popular Swedish furniture store, which is known for its affordable and seemingly easy-to-assemble furniture, and of course, the cafeteria featuring Scandinavian fare. But instead of the traditional warehouse and showroom-style shop, the storefronts will be in new formats: Plan-and-order points with pickup.
In this new format, customers can find inspiration for their homes with one-on-one interior design planning, according to the news release. Before arriving to the store, customers can book a free appointment to meet with a design and planning expert, who can offer advice, provide price estimates and even order home goods for the customer.
Traditional IKEA stores have customers walk through various showrooms where all products on sale are displayed. If customers find any products they want to buy, they can find them at the end of the winding path that leads into a large stockroom.
At the upcoming plan-and-order point stores, showrooms will still be on display, but there will be no stock, so customers cannot go home with new furniture. Customers can instead order any product in the showroom, which can be shipped to other locations or to the customer’s home. The stores will not have a cafeteria.
The Annapolis store will be 3,219 square feet, roughly the size of large single-family home. The traditional-style College Park IKEA location, by comparison, is more than 300,000 square feet.
“While the IKEA Annapolis Plan & order point with Pick-up is different from our traditional IKEA stores, we hope it better meets the needs of our local customers and provides an IKEA experience that’s more accessible, affordable and sustainable,” Market Manager Tony Giacona said in the news release.
The new Maryland stores will join some of the few U.S. locations in this format, including two newly opened stores in Fairfax and Arlington, Virginia. They will also join the two warehouse-style stores in College Park and Nottingham, Maryland, bringing the state’s number of IKEA stores to four.