Workers preparing the new, small-format IKEA planning studio at the Long Beach Towne Center on Thursday were turning away eager customers who thought the store was open.
But residents won’t have to wait much longer as the location is set to open Monday, the company has announced.
Customers will not leave the planning studio with products as they do at traditional IKEA locations. Instead, they will book an appointment with a design specialist who will help them plan and order furniture and decor based on their specific need.
Goods ordered at the planning studio are then shipped directly to the customer’s home or another location of their choosing.
“The new IKEA planning studios offer a unique experience with convenience in mind, and they are tailored for L.A. living,” Javier Quiñones, CEO and chief sustainability officer of IKEA U.S., said in a statement. “IKEA is consistently transforming to better meet the needs of our customers in California and beyond.”
The concept is based on market research to understand consumers and the logistical barriers they face when it comes to furniture shopping, the company said when the store was announced last October.
The Towne Center was an ideal location for the new concept due to its central location between two full-sized IKEA stores off the 405 Freeway—17 miles and 15 miles from the Costa Mesa and Carson locations, respectively. Both stores opened in 1992.
The Long Beach store, located on the eastern edge of the complex next to DXL Men’s Apparel, is expected to employ 13 to 20 people, the company said in October.
A second planning studio is also opening Monday in Arcadia in the Westfield Santa Anita Shopping Mall. The two planning studios are the first on the West Coast, with the only other U.S. location being in New York City.
There are also two planning studios in London and one in both Stockholm and Warsaw.
“We don’t want to stop pushing the envelope when it comes to accessibility and affordability,” Quiñones said. “IKEA is strongly committed to the communities in which we operate.”