Whether or not you’re a fan of their meatballs or you owned a LACK coffee table in college, it’s hard to argue that IKEA is anything less than a household name. The furniture retailer’s history in Canada dates back to 1976, and since that time, it has expanded into 14 big box locations across the country, including four in the Greater Toronto Area.

This summer, IKEA will open its newest location: a scaled-down rendition of the store in Scarborough Town Centre. This is Canada’s second “small store” model -- the first of which is located at Yonge Street and Gerrard Street East in downtown Toronto -- touting a fast and cashless experience, where customers can scan and pay for products using the IKEA app.

READ: First Downtown Toronto IKEA Store to Open this Month

Niclas Karlsson-Järnkrok, Toronto Area Manager for IKEA Canada, tells STOREYS that the downtown location has seen “hundreds of thousands of customer visits” since opening.

“With its convenient location in the heart of the city, we’ve also seen that our urban customers are visiting IKEA Toronto Downtown – Aura more frequently than we would typically see at a traditional store,” he continues. “As one of the fastest growing cities in North America, Toronto was a natural choice for IKEA Canada to launch the small store format -- first with our downtown location and now in Scarborough.”

Affordability and Small-Space Living

The forthcoming location in Scarborough is representative of IKEA’s “continued Canadian expansion,” according to a press release from November. Karlsson-Järnkrok adds that it’s also a testament to the timeliness of the small-scale format.

“Today, many of our customers in Toronto face significant travel times to meet IKEA, and we also see a growing demand for convenient and affordable home furnishings across the city,” he says. “We are on a journey to become more accessible by bringing the IKEA experience closer to where people live, work, and socialize.”

He also points to IKEA’s recently-released Life and Home report, which reveals that 67% of Canadians are concerned about the economy, and 57% with household finances.

“More than ever before, people are focused on making the most of their homes and are in need of affordable home furnishing and solutions,” says Karlsson-Järnkrok. “Our small store format focuses on bringing affordable, sustainable, and small-space living solutions closer to urban residents, so that they don’t have to compromise on quality, functionality, and beautiful design when building the home of their dreams.”

For those who haven’t yet visited IKEA’s scaled-down store in downtown Toronto, it’s not a far cry from the big box stores many of us have come to know, love, and get lost in. “Small store formats offer the same look, feel, and functionality that can be found at a traditional IKEA store, just at a smaller size,” says Karlsson-Järnkrok.

The new Scarborough location specifically will span 7,500 sq. m and include approximately 2,800 IKEA products for purchase and immediate takeaway. Larger furniture pieces -- like the oh-so-popular BILLY bookcase -- will be on display and available for delivery.

And just in case you have meatballs on the mind, Karlsson-Järnkrok confirms that they will indeed be available as part of a “new food concept” Swedish deli, offered only at select small stores, including the downtown location.

Although he wasn’t isn’t able to tease where in Toronto they plan to set up shop next, it stands to reason we will be seeing more of their small store model. “The small store format is just one of the many ways we are working to meet the evolving needs of our customers and bringing our home furnishing expertise to where it’s needed most.”

Cover photo: Oxford Properties