retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Fast Company reports that Ikea, the Swedish furniture retailer that made its reputation with enormous stores with football field-sized parking lots - Tina Fey once joked that Idea is "where marriages go to die" - is testing a new format in a Vienna location that has zero parking spaces.

The store, in a new seven-store building, is part of the company's effort "to shrink its carbon footprint, including the pollution from customers driving to suburban stores … The location is next to a tram stop and a three-minute walk from a subway station; like other parts of the city, it’s easily accessible by bike. Anything that customers can’t easily carry away will be delivered from a new logistics center farther away (and soon, as with other Ikea stores, those deliveries will happen via electric delivery vans)."

The story says that two of the building's floors will be used as a hostel, and the roof will be used as a public park. And, the architects tell Fast Company, "the design is sustainable in another way: Unlike a standard big-box store, the design is aesthetically interesting enough that people should want to keep it around in the future rather than tearing it down."
KC's View:
I think it will behoove many retailers to start considering what their futures might look like. This example clearly is a little further down the road than most people and companies need to be … but everybody needs to start thinking about possibilities, not just the way things are.