After a two-year construction phase, the IKEA store opened at the Westbahnhof in Vienna on August 26. At the opening stage, entry is only possible with an electronic ticket. A demo is also planned.
From a small idea at first, the vision of IKEA Vienna Westbahnhof emerged during a ten-year project period. “We have come a long way from ‘blue boxes’ in the green field to the city store that is second to none. Rodolphe de Campos, Country Finance Manager at IKEA Austria and mastermind of the project explains: ‘We are daring to experiment because customer behavior and commuting habits have changed rapidly,’” explains Rodolphe de Campos, Country Finance Manager at IKEA Austria “With this concept, we have successfully integrated online and offline as well as an entertainment meeting point and a unique shopping experience. We are excited to finally be able to offer our new IKEA store from August 26, 2021 to many people.”
The seven-storey building houses the IKEA store on five floors. The hotel brand Accor JO & JOE, whose hospitality concept is aimed specifically at young people and business travelers, is located on the two upper floors. Four shops (pharmacy, hearing studio, hairdresser and bakery) were already there providing additional service. The rooftop terrace offers a great view of the whole of Vienna, a gastronomic offering like the first IKEA snack bar in the world and will be available to the public without any obligation to eat it. The attractive food presentation also brings modern, healthy Swedish flair to the heart of Vienna: the Swedish store and IKEA restaurant invites you to continue with the usual IKEA quality.
A new shopping experience at Vienna’s Westbahnhof
IKEA Wien Westbahnhof clearly focuses on urban customers’ expectations and desires for car-free mobility: “The new IKEA store is completely car-free – the concept is entirely geared towards pedestrians, public transport users and cyclists and saves around 350,000 car trips, i.e. 1,000 tons of CO2, Compared to a traditional furniture store,” says Maimuna Mosser, Director of Business Development at IKEA Austria. No traditional furniture store: Customers can buy small items on site that can be transported by public transport or bicycle – there are more than 3,000 items in stock to check out. All larger items are ordered for collection via delivery or via the “Click and Collect” service.
So all that is needed to shop at the new IKEA Wien Westbahnhof is a mobile phone and the IKEA app: this gives customers the opportunity to get inspired from mobile devices, create shopping lists and order online. “The scan and checkout functionality extends the app with the option to scan your favorite products yourself using the IKEA app in the store,” says Claudio Winkler, country digital director at IKEA Austria.
A sit-in scheduled for Thursday
The Citizens Initiative for Supply Chain Act will hold a protest in front of IKEA on its opening day. Under the slogan “Outside hui, inside ugh,” the furniture chain has for many years accused the furniture chain of illegal timber removal from primeval forests, land grabbing, and human rights abuses.
IKEA rejected the claim in a statement it submitted to APS on Wednesday. Do not “under any circumstances” accept illegally harvested wood: “We work actively to ensure that this wood is not used in our products under any circumstances. It is our responsibility as a legal guarantee company for all wood that goes into our supply chains.”
If you notice any irregularities, take immediate action. It was also confirmed that at the end of 2019, about 97 percent of the wood used in IKEA products will come from sustainable sources.
Controversy over calming traffic
The new furniture store also caused disagreement regarding local policies. The head of the Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus district, Gerhard Zatlokal (SPÖ), complained that the planned concept of traffic calming, which provides one-way lanes, for example, will not be implemented or will be implemented at a later date. He worries that IKEA customers will be able to park their cars directly at the furniture store in the area due to the lack of parking space.
SPÖ city council disagreed. The Red Chairman of the Mobility Committee, Eric Valentine, confirmed that the measures are being carried out according to plan. Addendum: “I understand if one of them got impatient, but I ask for your understanding that spaces that have become free can only be remodeled after the construction phase is completed by Ikea.”
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