Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Making Sense of IKEA

Ethan Chernofsky
September 3, 2019
Making Sense of IKEA

We ran a series of reports for our Q2 Retail Index including dedicated posts on the Grocery, Apparel, Food, and Home Improvement sectors. And it was while researching the last of the group, that we noticed a retailer with traits that differed dramatically from the rest of their category - IKEA. 

Compared to nine other top players in the space, IKEA saw a significantly higher percentage of weekend visits than any competitor. Nearly 50% of their visits in Q2 came on weekends, where the average of the other nine was below 40%. And the same approach led to a dramatically higher visit duration with IKEA visitors spending nearly 80 minutes on average in a store, while the average of the other nine was just above 40 minutes. That’s nearly double the amount of time spent in a location!

And the ramifications of this approach are enormous. So we dove into IKEA data to analyze the traits that set the brand apart and to understand what this means for their neighbors.

The Uniqueness of IKEA - Quality over Quantity

To put IKEA’s approach into context, we compared the company’s visits with Menards nationwide over the 12 month period from August 2018 through July 2019. For this period, Menards, one of the better brands in the sector when it comes to repeat visits, saw an average of 7.2 visits per visitor. IKEA, on the other hand, saw only 2.5 visits per visitor, a dramatically lower number. This places an added emphasis on maximizing each visit to drive conversions.

And the data indicates that IKEA does just that. Instead of focusing on repeat visits, IKEA provides a ‘destination’ shopping experience. The average visit duration over this period was 81 minutes, more than double the 40-minute duration that the average Menards visitor spends at a store. Imagining a customer willing to invest that much time without making a purchase is incredibly difficult and the ability to drive high intent customers is an enormous asset for IKEA.

The need to dedicate this amount of time also disproportionately brings visitors to IKEA on weekends, where they see 49.4% of visitors come on a Saturday or Sunday. Comparatively, Menards sees only 39.8% of their visitors on the weekend. This allows IKEA to optimize their staffing, operations and campaigns accordingly, knowing that their distance makes them the cause for a visit, and not just a stop on the way.

Why Does It Matter for IKEA and Menards?

The information is critical for IKEA in order to maximize the way they expand their retail footprint, optimize marketing and more. When you are a weekend destination that requires a lot of time for a visit, you must focus on optimizing your physical properties. IKEA has shown a tremendous mastery of this. The image below shows the True Trade Areas - places where visitors actually come from - for four different stores in Southern California. Shockingly, there is almost no overlap between the trade areas, meaning IKEA has been able to effectively determine how far a customer will travel for a store.

Returning to our comparison with Menards, the below image shows two locations in Michigan, and the difference is stark. The IKEA (blue) has visitors coming from an incredibly large trade area, while the Menards (red) sees a far more localized distribution. For Menards to expand across the country they would need far more properties to achieve the same reach that IKEA accomplishes with far less. Yet, on the flip side, they are given far more flexibility in the ways, times and channels they can use to reach their audience.

The point is made even more clear when analyzing the distances that visitors traveled. Nearly 82% of this Menards visits come from within 10 miles, while over 76% of this IKEA’s visitors come from beyond 10 miles. 

Why Does It Matter For Their Neighbors?

But this data doesn’t only matter for IKEA and Menards, it has a huge potential impact on the shopping centers that house them and any brand that wants to sit nearby. Because of the demands placed on visitors to come on a weekend or during a period when they have time to spare, IKEA visitors are more likely to shop or eat out before and after their visit. 26.0% of IKEA visitors nationwide continue shopping after a visit as opposed to 19.4% for Menards. 9.6% will go to a restaurant after, whereas 6.9% of Menards visitors will. These differences present unique opportunities and considerations for co-tenants. 

How should you arrange staffing? When should you create deals to boost downtime? All of this data can help co-tenants improve their numbers by taking advantage of the opportunties and disadvantages that come from having either of these brands as a neighbor.


And this is perhaps the most important point. IKEA isn’t better than Menards or vice versa, but they are definitely not the same. For each brand to drive success they need to understand and internalize the differences that set them apart and create a customer experience that supports it. From marketing to staffing to market planning, there are powerful insights based on this data to help increase revenue.

But critically, these insights are not limited to the brands themselves. Shopping center owners, nearby tenants and beyond can find ways to improve their performance and profit by adapting tactics to help leverage the strengths of neighbors. Cross promotions, well-targeted campaigns and deals, and beyond can all be developed in order to leverage a company’s wider context to drive value.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023 Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact
Offline Beauty Is on an Upswing
The Evolving Migration Patterns of New York’s Florida Snowbirds Office Index: November 2022 Recap
How Viral Social Media Trends Can Drive Offline Engagement
Are You Ready for Some Football? Experiential Marketing Shows Promise
Mall and Shopping Center Trends For 2023
Retail Corridors and Indoor Malls: A Holiday Head-to-Head
Placer Bytes: Nike, lululemon, and GameStop Update Mall Indexes: November 2022 Update
Black Friday 2022: Consumers Hear the Call
Digitally Native Brands: Taking Off, Offline
Discount and Dollar Stores Leading the Pack
Turkey Wednesday 2022
Retail’s Evolving Holiday Season
Placer Bytes: Starbucks and Department Stores Ahead of Black Friday
Ulta: A Force to be Reckoned With
College Towns Drive Dining Growth
Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer
How Retailers Can Win Big By Going Small
How Are Consumers Feeling Ahead of Black Friday 2022?
Off-Price, Hibbett, and Dick’s Pre-Holiday Check-in
Ho, Ho, Wholesale: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
October 2022’s Retail Rebound
Target and Walmart Ahead of the Holidays
Home Improvement: Leave it to the Pros
Despite Inflation, Holiday Season is Off to a Good Start Office Index: October 2022 Recap Mall Indexes- October 2022 Update
Americans Double Down on Fitness
The State of Grocery
CVS and Walgreens: The Wave Continues
Coffee Chains Brewing Up Visits Spotlight: Pizza Players
What Drove COVID-Era Urban Migration Trends?
Kroger and Albertsons: A Merging of Strengths
Texas Roadhouse Innovations Dishing Up Success
Holidays on the Horizon: Mid-Range and Luxury Shopping
McDonald's and Chipotle's Post-Pandemic Success
Announcing’s Q3 2022 Quarterly Index
5 Hot Restaurant Brands for 2023
Target Finds a Winning Deals Day Formula
Five Trends to Watch for 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
September 2022 Analysis: A Difficult Month and Time for Optimism
Inflation’s Retail Winners
Five Apparel Retailers to Watch Ahead of the Holidays Spotlight: Wawa’s QSR Pivot Mall Indexes: September 2022 Recap Office Indexes: September 2022 Recap
The Impact of Population Growth on Commercial Real Estate 
Starbucks' New Makeover
There's Somethin' About Pumpkin
Expanding Offline Reach
Breakfast Restaurants are Rising in Popularity
The Power of Labor Day 2022
Tourism in Miami Heating Up
Citi Trends on the Rise
Reaching Rural Consumers Through Retail Media Network
Darden Restaurants Cooking Up Success
The Home Improvement Sector: A Sign of Consumer Confidence
QSR Is Having a Northeastern Growth Spurt
Domestic Migration’s Ripple Effects
A Look Back at Back To School 2022
Kroger Digital Tell-All
The Return of In-Person Networking
The Reinvention of the American Mall Office Building Indexes: August 2022 Recap Mall Indexes - August 2022 Recap
Five Below’s Back to School Success
Plus-Size Fashion’s Staying Power
Placer Bytes: Best Buy & GameStop 
Petco Barking Up the Right Tree