Ikea has opened its first UK store for seven years in Reading, complete with sensory features designed to make it feel homelier.
The 32,000m2 store, which opened in Thames Valley today, includes features such as fireplaces that smell of wood and which make crackling sounds.
“The sensory features help to bring our room sets to life, further helping our customers to imagine and feel how our products will look in their home,” says Ikea.
Rolling out sensory features in future stores
The furniture company has already introduced features such as these in its Cardiff store, and says it is looking to introduce them in future stores as well.
Of the 50 room sets that make up the new space, five of them come with ceilings designed to “give customers a clearer image of how products will look in [the] home”.
Visitors will also be able to try out a new Style Island concept, which help them to design a kitchen by creating a mood board for inspiration.
Local residents inspired the store design
Ikea says its key inspiration when designing the store was “the people of the Thames Valley”.
“Our dedicated team have carried out extensive home research in the region to ensure that each of the room sets in our store reflect real-life living situations of those who live nearby, whether it be room-sets that reflect clever storage solutions for children’s toys in the living room or practical spaces for recycling bins in the kitchen.”