Swedish furniture giant Ikea have announced that they are set to take over Topshop’s former flagship store in Oxford Street, prompting speculation that homeware brands could become a fixture of the reshaped UK high street. Retail Gazette reports that the change in consumer habits has been sparked by the Covid pandemic.
People naturally turned their thoughts to home décor during the last 18 months, and this has been reflected in booming sales for homeware brands. Many fashion retailers such as Next and Mango now have an interiors division.
Marcel Hollerbach, chief innovation officer at Productsup told the publication: “Ikea has long been eyeing up a move to the high street to get its products in front of more UK shoppers and has already had success in doing so in other cities across Europe, so this is a natural step for them to grow their business and build their brand.”
He also described Ikea’s move as ‘genius’, adding: “The in-store experience is changing to combat the pressures of commerce anarchy, and Ikea’s rumoured spot on Oxford Street would allow the retailer to give even more customers access to its brand experience.”
It is likely that the in-store experience will be augmented with technology, such as apps that will let the customer visualise the product in their own home. Digital tech is already transforming the way that people shop in-store in countries such as China and Japan, Econsultancy reports.
For example, some Burberry stores in China have used social media to make shopping a more personalised and fun experience, whilst in Japan, customers can scan Lush products with a mobile app to find out detailed information about the ingredients and benefits.
It seems that fusing the advantages of shopping online with an in-store experience is the way forward for successful high street brands of the future.
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