Innovation of the Day

Earlier this month, IKEA started construction on a new seven-storey store in Vienna that will have no car parking spaces. Shoppers will be expected to arrive on foot or by public transport, with large items delivered to people’s homes from a nearby logistics center.  The Vienna store also features a public rooftop park which will be open to citizens even when the store is closed, and over 160 (!) trees thanks to its semi-open lattice structure. Furthermore, the top two floors will host the new Accor hostel-hotel hybrid concept JO&JOE among other communal spaces.  

Our readers – you trend-savvy lot! – won’t be too surprised with this move. Since starting to offer online delivery in 2016 (gasp!), the big box retailer formerly known as IKEA has been outspoken about the need to transform its business model, for example it opened an urban planning studio in Manhattan last year. 

But here’s a powerful thought experiment for you: Bank of America’s strategists recently told clients to prepare for a ‘peak decade’, where the world will be transformed by multiple converging ‘peaks’ (globalization, capitalism, youth, car, to name a few). Indeed, IKEA itself called out that Western consumers had reached ‘peak stuff’ nearly five years ago. IKEA has spent 60 years very successfully riding the car and ‘stuff’ waves. Now that both these waves have peaked [fingers crossed], this store is just the latest manifestation of the brand’s attempt to transition to sustainability- and community-focused waves. 

Have the big waves that underpin your business or industry peaked? Which ones can you ride next?

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