IKEA : Let’s celebrate a retailer getting things right

No one really expected Ikea’s town centre stores to be quite as exciting as the one in Greenwich, London has turned out to be. Predictions were for a mini Habitat, a business Ikea once owned and couldn’t wait to get rid of. But take some time to visit this store, George Macdonald has written about it in Retail Week.

The store is on the site of a Sainsbury’s eco store that I wrote about when it launched nearly 20 years ago, and Ikea has continued many of the grocer’s sustainable elements, including rain water harvesting and solar power. Whilst it is in the borough of Greenwich, it is next to the river Thames near the Millennium Dome.

Sustainability

But the Swedish big box homewares retailer has gone further. Already brimming with sustainable credentials – recycling is second nature to the Swedes and beware any tourist who does not understand their complex but fair recycling rules – Ikea offers home delivery by three wheeler cargo bike to any destination within three miles of the store.

50% of staff live in the borough and most are required to come to work by bus rather than their own cars. 40 buses per hour stop outside so no hardship there.

Community means community

Ikea is serious about the word community, which has been so badly abused for so long, by offering recycling classes to customers so they can get better at understanding what sustainability really means. Suddenly, sustainability is no longer a badge but a way of life. Ikea wants you to be more sustainable but it leads by example, taking back your old furniture for instance.

And it’s not all serious business; the store offers yoga classes on the indoor roof terrace. Seriously, why are you sitting on your backside at home when you could be at Ikea?

Check out the video on Retail Week. https://bit.ly/2Gq1twC

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