IKEA is rolling up its “flat-pack” sleeves and dares to tread where others have hung up a ‘closed’ sign for good —in the heart of San Francisco’s downtown district. A mere three years after snapping up a lonely, ghost-town-like mall in the city’s Mid-Market corridor, IKEA flung its doors open just last week. SF’s downtown district, which has seen better days, is not just hollowed out, but practically echoes with the absence of workers. Issues like crime, homelessness, and drug abuse have turned this once-bustling district into a troubled neighborhood.
Thanks for Taking A Chance On [Us] with the Swedish theme! When All Is Said And Done my Waterloo with flat pack is always time spent assembling. Instead of Why Did It Have To Be Me I definitely need to Ring Ring those Task Rabbits and hope that interface improves.
Hi Professor. This was one of the most entertaining yet informative reads! Curious if they are still going to be charging the same hefty delivery fee for these urban centers, as that was a major deterrent for me as a consumer. I ended up using wayfair due to free delivery (understanding it might be baked into the prices) and set up task rabbit separately to help with assembly. Also, will be interesting to see if the SKUs at the city center stores will be geared more towards smaller items / decor pieces etc. to promote more frequent but smaller purchases.
A personal perspective: I was at the SF grand opening, which had hundreds of people lined up in advance to enter. It was really nice to have this jolt of positive energy on Market St! I was pleasantly surprised with how well organized everything was, with the crowds processed quickly and moving efficiently through the store.
City-dwelling customers certainly have different needs than IKEA's typical customers, and the product selection and layout well reflected this. A good example is their live houseplant selection at great prices. (Riding home on the Muni carrying my new dragon tree, several strangers approached with compliments and questions.) For IKEA's sake and that of a mid-Market revival, I'm hoping this store makes "Money, Money, Money" :-)
Hello Sir. Enriching read as always.
Wondering if owning real estate in a commercially bleaker SF downtown, in current circumstances, is a good idea. Does Ikea own most of the store real estates as of today?
Also, must mention I noticed that your narrative in this article is much more creative and visual. Loved it.
My larger concern for IKEA here is that median income in SF is very very high, and I’m not sure how big the market is for IKEA furniture. Maybe makes more sense to do this in a large college town?
Mamma Mia! What a fun and informative read