Ikea and H&M create ‘ideas factory’ to promote London designers

H&M Ingka Group
// Ikea and H&M team up to create an “ideas factory” on the high street
// The store is located in Ikea’s first UK shopping centre, Livat

Ikea and H&M have teamed up to create an “ideas factory” on the high street that aims to search for designers and small-scale manufacturers in London in an effort to mentor and promote them.

Atelier 100, the first joint venture between the retailers will open in Hammersmith, west London, in May and launched an open call on Thursday for creatives and producers based within 100km of the store.

The store is located in Ikea’s first UK shopping centre, Livat, which opened in February.

Livat is a meeting place and workplace for designers and makers, helping to foster new alliances and ideas.

READ MORE: Has Ikea’s property arm reinvented the shopping centre?

Successful applicants will receive up to £10,000 to help scale up their ideas into commercially viable products, and training and mentoring from Ikea and H&M insiders as well as other experts.

All kinds of projects will be considered, from beauty and fashion to jewellery, art and even music.

The only limitation is that any end product must be small enough for shoppers to carry away from the Hammersmith store.

H&M global brand innovation manager, Camilla Henriksson said: “We want to be open to ideas. The two retailers wanted to come closer to the customers and to local people with ideas to ensure they continued to provide what people want.”

Ikea’s parent company Ingka Group chief creative officer, Marcus Engman said: “The Hammersmith outlet was a year-long pilot project. If it works, further venues will be developed in other cities around the world in future.

“You can either see it as a challenging time for retail or that there has never been more opportunity for developing the future ways of retailing than right now. We try to have a positive outlook and see things will get better.”

The first 20 applicants for Atelier100, who have until 18 April to put themselves forward, will be able to begin selling their existing products in Hammersmith from next month.

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