Swedish home furnishings company Ikea have launched their first new kitchen range for the first time in 25 years.
In a briefing at their giant Wembley store this morning, senior designers unveiled their new Metod 4th generation kitchen which has been in the works for the last six years.
The group said they decided to re-design the kitchens because of changing consumer habits; namely the growing city population now have less space to live in and less time. One of the changes, which will replace the popular Faktum range over the next two years, is that cabinet sizes have been boosted and everything will be built around 20cm measurement steps which boosts customisation.
The firm hope the update will give them a key advantage over rivals John Lewis and B&Q.
Ikea are now tailoring their products to the Indian market; perhaps not surprising given that 15 per cent of customers who enter its Wembley store are from the Asian sub-continent. Its £3,322 kitchen, which is designed for Indian families, features an extra deep sink, dark work tops, more cabinet space to keep high volumes of vegetable oil and rice and a mini-kids kitchen so large families can be entertained.
“In every market we have a deep knowledge of our customers and we have tried to replicate what they need in store. We can then show them kitchens that suit their lifestyles so they can try them out for themselves,” said IKEA’s kitchen product head Julian Masters.
IKEA are also planning to give their global stores a “refresh” and will start in the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Ireland in February before moving to Switzerland and Italy. The firm is also opening up stores in Korea and Indonesia as well as Eastern European territories but have no immediate plans to trade in Africa.
The firm were tight-lipped on how ‘The Internet of Things’ will be used in the new kitchen - a fridge which can read your thoughts and order goods isn’t available just yet - but spokespeople confirmed they are “working on it.”
Ikea confirmed they will launch an Ikea table later this year that charges your smartphone hands-free.
A TV marketing campaign which will focus on “emotional connections with customers” to support the launch is also set to be rolled out this spring.
Total sales at Ikea rose 3.1 per cent year-on-year to record €27.9bn (£23bn) in 2013. The Swedish company’s comparable store sales grew 1.8 per cent for the year.