IKEA popping up on Wenceslas Square

The furniture giant is opening a temporary shop in the city center

The IKEA furniture chain will open a store on Wenceslas Square on Sept. 20. The store will not carry a complete product line, but will instead be focused on items for living rooms.

The Swedish chain has four department stores in the Czech Republic not counting this new one. Two are on the outskirts of Prague, one in Brno and one in Ostrava.

The 800-square-meter store will be in a building formerly used by Česká spořitelna at Václavské nám. 779/16. The furniture giant describes the shop as a pop-up studio, and they have had similar ones in other cities such as Stockholm, Zurich, Rome and Warsaw.

The stores also are not necessarily permanent. In January, IKEA announced the store would open in the summer and its future would be evaluated after a year and a half.

“By focusing only on one part of the assortment, our designers have more room for creativity and can imagine IKEA products in a different light,” project leader Peter Tichý said when the store was first announced.

The store will carry a lot of design items and a limited number of big box items. It will also showcase new items. The idea behind pop up stores is to build brand awareness and also test new concepts.

Some retail experts question the choice of location, as parking in the Wenceslas Square is limited, and the square also tends to attract more tourists than local shoppers.

IKEA is the largest retailer of furniture in the world. Its furniture sales in the Czech Republic grew by 4 percent in the financial year 2016/2017 to Kč 9.7 billion crowns. Growth was mainly due to an increase in average spending, up 6 percent to Kč 1,638.

IKEA’s growth outstripped that of the industry in general.

Furniture sales in Czech stores grew last year by 2.3 percent to Kč 36.29 billion, according to the Association of Czech Furniture Retailers (AČN).

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