Ikea Sets Loyalty Program
Members receive discounts, other perks
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, September 2, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea is rolling out a customer loyalty program in its U.S. stores, offering consumers discounts and other perks after they sign up.
At store kiosks or online, consumers enter some basic information, including how they prefer to be reached - by text or email for instance - and they can ask to receive the annual catalog.
At the kiosks, customers instantly get their membership cards and can then present them at checkout for the benefits. That includes discounts on certain goods in each department and in the restaurant and Swedish food market, free coffee and tea in the restaurant, extra time for the kids in the Smaland supervised play area, entry into a monthly sweepstake to win a $100 Ikea gift card, and access to an "Ikea Family" website to see current promotions, tailored offerings based on their profiles and recommendations based on their purchase history.
"It's a great way to say thank you to people for coming to visit us time and time again," said Jackie DeChamps deputy store manager in Charlotte, N.C., who demonstrated the kiosk for Furniture/Today. (Watch a video on our website, www.furnituretoday.com.)
Ikea Family has been available for years in other countries where Ikea operates, including Canada, said Ikea spokesman Joseph Roth. In the United States, the retailer started implementing the loyalty program in June in its three Pennsylvania stores and currently has the program in 15 of its 38 stores, including its newest store in Centennial, Colo. All U.S stores will have it by December, he said.
"Results have been fantastic," Roth said, though he would not disclose any sales numbers or comparisons that show consumers are shopping and buying from the stores more often.
Separately, the retailer recently rolled out a picking service in its U.S. stores, giving customers who don't have the time or desire to pull their own merchandise from the warehouse the option of having Ikea do it for them for a flat $40 fee. The picking service coupled with delivery - based on ZIP code and starting at $59, down from $69 last year - gives customers more of a full-service experience starting at $99.
"It's really for that customer who wants that kind of white-glove feeling," De-Champs said. She added that she's heard several comments from customers that indicate the service has opened them up to shopping Ikea, whereas "before they may have been a little leery." She said the service shows them that there's more than one way to shop the retailer.
Ikea began rolling out the service in February and it's now available in all U.S. stores, Roth said. While the United States is the first market to have it, "other countries may be evaluating" adding it, he said.