Ikea Closing First U.S. Small Concept Store Less Than 2 Years After It Opened
Less than two years after opening its first small-format store in the U.S., Ikea is shutting it down.
The Swedish furniture giant is closing its 115K SF store at Vornado's Rego Center Mall in Queens, Commercial Observer reports. The official closing date for the 96-05 Queens Blvd. location is Dec. 3, Ikea told customers in an email, per the publication.
The company said it had made the decision to close the store to “evolve to meet the changing needs of our customers.” The company said workers will be given other job opportunities locally — it operates a traditional, large-format store in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Ikea signed a 10-year lease with Vornado in 2019 and opened the store in January 2021. It was the first Ikea location in the U.S. at the time with the smaller format, per the Sunnyside Post. A typical Ikea is about 400K SF.
Ikea also launched an even smaller planning studio on the Upper East Side at 999 Third Ave., which closed in December after the company said foot traffic was too low to warrant the high rent in the area, Patch reported.
The company said at the time that it continued to seek another location. Ikea said in May that over the next 18 months it plans to transition 30%-40% of its existing big-box suburban locations to distribution centers for online orders while opening new smaller stores to accommodate in-person shopping. The cost of the transition was reportedly $3.16B.
“Our global CEO, Jesper Brodin, in 2017 announced that we would be focusing on 30 global cities,” Angele Robinson-Gaylord, then-president of the North America real estate cluster at Ikea Group, told Bisnow in 2020. "Everyone is very familiar with the typical Ikea that is out in the suburbs, what we called potatoes fields — [but we are now] recognizing that we have time-pressed lives in our major cities, and people don’t necessarily have time to make that journey.
“In those global cities, [we are trying] to meet those customers in a different way. We have examples of that in Manhattan. We have our planning studio, which, instead of our typical 250K SF to 300K SF store, it’s a 17K SF store.”