Some of the new Ikea team in Douglas: Mary Guy, Fernanda Blicharski, Dessie O’Regan, Martyn Allen, Melanie Byrne, Chris Kelly and Lauren Woods.

Ikea opens new Douglas store

Beloved of students, young couples and families with young kids, Ikea has opened in Cork this week.

It may not be as big as the behemoth shop in Dublin, but the Swedish furniture giant has opened a new plan and order point in the Douglas Village Shopping Centre.

Part of Ikea’s national expansion, the company expects to open more plan and order points in Ireland this year.

Plan and order points are smaller Ikea stores dedicated to kitchen and bedroom planning where customers can find home furnishing advice and expertise to help design their ideal space. The initiative comes as part of the retailer’s ongoing transformation to make it easier and more sustainable to shop with Ikea.

The focus in the Ikea Cork Plan and Order point is bespoke kitchen and wardrobe designs, although customers will be able to get inspiration and help in planning for any room in their home.

Products can be ordered from across the full Ikea range for delivery direct to the customer’s home or a location of their choice. Customers will be able to book an appointment to start their design with one of Ikea’s planning specialists or use the in-store self-service tools to design their own solution.

Martyn Allan, Market Manager in Ireland said: “As part of our journey towards becoming more accessible, affordable, and sustainable, we are excited to open our new plan and order point in Douglas Village Shopping Centre in Cork. Ikea fans in Munster have until now had to travel to Dublin to meet us.

“This new plan and order point means that they instead can meet us to plan kitchens and other areas of their home in their local area,” he said, calling it “an exciting first step on bringing Ikea closer to our customers in southern Ireland”.

The new unit at Douglas Village Shopping Centre in Cork is the fourth plan and order point to open in Ireland in the past 12 months after the Drogheda, Naas and St Stephen's Green.

Design consultations

Appointments to consult with one of Ikea’s interior designers must be made in advance via the online booking system.

Once the booking is confirmed, the customer will receive a message to alert them to anything they may need to bring with them to the appointment such as photographs, measurements, etc. What is needed will depend on the service chosen e.g., kitchen, living room, bedroom, or wardrobe.

At the consultation, the customer and the designer will work together to design an interior plan perfect for the customer’s needs and lifestyle. This may take up to two consultations before a plan is finalised, with each consultation being free of charge.

The designers will use 3D design technology to give customers a real feel for what their design will look like, with the 3D images being accessible to the customer for up to five days after the consultation.

Once the interior plans have been agreed, Ikea also offers an assembly and installation service.

This month, Ikea unveiled its first Customer Distribution Centre in West Dublin which will create 120 jobs. The 450,000 square ft facility will open early next year and will enable Ikea to process online orders directly from Ireland which will increase product availability and cut delivery times in half.