- Stringent safety measures include limiting customer numbers and a staggered entry system to enable social distancing and ensure the comfort of co-workers and customers
- Additional hand sanitiser facilities throughout stores and deeper, more frequent cleaning routines
- Co-workers and customers to wear face coverings unless exempt
- In a year when life at home has never been more important, IKEA accelerated its transformation to become more affordable, accessible and sustainable; enabling the retailer to meet customers in more ways than ever before.
Home-furnishing retailer IKEA has announced that stores across England and Wales will reopen on Monday 12th April, along with Click and Collect in Northern Ireland. This follows the reopening of its stores in Scotland on Monday 5th April.
The health and safety of co-workers and customers remains our top priority. Based on Government guidance and our experience of reopening IKEA stores safely in a number of countries around the world, as well as in the UK, IKEA has made extensive plans for its reopening. Ahead of welcoming customers back once again, IKEA will continue to implement a series of stringent and enhanced safety measures to ensure the safety and comfort of co-workers and customers wanting to shop in-store. These measures include:
- On-site temperature checks for co-workers
- Enhanced social distance guidance and signage throughout
- A staggered entry system and limited numbers of customers granted entry in store at any one time.
- Social distance wardens to help customers and ensure everyone is following social distancing measures.
- Additional hand sanitiser facilities and more frequent deep cleaning routines for bags, trolleys, bathrooms, rest areas, equipment and touchscreens
- Face coverings for co-workers and customers
- Screens at key areas such as checkouts, service points and customer returns, to enable social distancing
- In-store planning services to resume with screens and social distancing
- Cashless payments, by card and contactless, preferred
- All play areas and the customer restaurant to remain closed
In line with Government guidelines, IKEA restaurants will remain closed until May 17th, although Bistros, which operate a contact-free takeaway service will remain open to help sustain hungry shoppers – as will Swedish Food Markets, so that much-loved food items can still be made at home.
Peter Jelkeby, UK&IE Country Retail Manager and CSO, says: “We’ve always believed that home is the most important place in the world. Over the past year, we’ve placed more demands on our homes than ever before, needing them to be spaces where we can live, work and play; fulfilling both our physical and emotional needs.
“Knowing that some of these shifts in our lifestyles, such as working from home, will become increasingly permanent over the coming years, our homes will need to become even more versatile and adaptable. As such we’re really looking forward to welcoming customers safely back into our stores, inspiring people to live a better and more sustainable everyday through our range of affordable home furnishings.”
To ensure that customers can continue to shop with IKEA however they want, Click and Collect, room planning and interior design services remain available online. All in-home services including ‘room of choice’ delivery, Task Rabbit assembly and kitchen measuring, and installations remain in operation as usual, in line with the ‘Working Safely in Other People’s Homes’ guidance.
Despite store closures, the pandemic has also proven to be a catalyst for positive change for the retailer. To help cater to new shopping behaviours, a number of initiatives were introduced to enable IKEA to meet its customers in more ways than ever before, including:
- The launch of Click and Collect across all stores
- Rolling out ‘Click and Deliver’ to 4,000 DPD drop off points nationwide
- The use of stores as local fulfilment and distribution centres, to increase capacity and reduce delivery lead times
- Remote kitchen, wardrobe and living room storage planning appointments, ensuring customers could still access IKEA’s home furnishing expertise
- A new remote interior design service offering expert advice and bespoke plans from the comfort of your home from £65 per room
- A tiered pricing structure for orders based on size and speed of delivery, starting from £2.00
Peter Jelkeby, UK&IE Country CEO and CSO continues, “Changes made over the past year will be vital for securing the future success of our business, as we continue our ambition to create a better everyday life for the many people. Throughout the course of the pandemic, our co-workers have demonstrated incredible resilience and willingness to find our way through the crisis to help meet the needs of our customers in new ways. I am incredibly thankful to them for all they have accomplished.”