Last week IKEA announced that in Groningen (The Netherlands), in collaboration with Thuisbezorgd.nl
, they will start to bring the famous Kötbullar (Swedish meatballs) right to your home. A bold move for a furniture chain that only recently had to announce they will shed 7500 people of its workforce. The project in Groningen is only a first test, but it may be clear that digital transformation for IKEA goes well beyond the physical borders of their stores, and their internet webshop.
The question will be whether people will favour this move or not. A visit to the local IKEA store is, thanks to the 'eat cheap food/eat food cheap in a restaurant setting' and the nice decorated rooms almost a family-day-out. IKEA managed to grow impressive by turning all negative points about retail shopping into positive ones: easy and free parking, kids have a space to play, there's all kind of food and the furniture itself has a right price tag. With food delivery these positives have no influence on the experience. Yes, you can eat those Kötbullar finally at home, at an elevated price (since the delivery will not be free), but the experience will be totally different or non-existing.