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Economy

Why IKEA Wants to Move Downtown

The retail giant plans to open a series of “city center” stores, starting in Manhattan. It’s a notable departure from its usual big-box suburban megastores.
IKEA plans open 30 smaller stores in city centers over the next two years, starting in Midtown Manhattan.
IKEA plans open 30 smaller stores in city centers over the next two years, starting in Midtown Manhattan.Ints Kalnins/Reuters

Next spring, IKEA is moving to the heart of Manhattan.

For anyone who knows the furniture retailer’s massive blue-box megastores, this might come as a surprise. But what you’ll find at the Midtown outpost is something new: a “Planning Studio” with a much smaller footprint, where New Yorkers can get one-on-one advice before ordering items for delivery.