News • 05.02.2024

World first for IKEA Amsterdam makes external warehouse unnecessary

Pick up orders easier and faster with lockers and innovative pickup machines

IKEA Amsterdam introduces an innovative solution for Click & Collect orders and can say goodbye to its 7,800-square-meter external warehouse. Pick-Up lockers and two large pick-up machines have been installed in the thoroughly renovated branch, making it even easier for customers to collect their orders. The advanced vending machines, with a height of 8 meters and diameter of 8.5 meters, are reminiscent of a huge soda machine: you key in the code of the online order, and the machine picks up the order for you and gives it to you. IKEA Amsterdam is the first store worldwide with such a system in the store.

Click & Collect

IKEA's Click & Collect service allows customers to place an order online and choose where and when to pick it up, such as at the Order & Collect departments in IKEA stores. Use of that service is increasing, so the Swedish store is looking for smart solutions to meet that growing demand - such as with the transformation of IKEA Amsterdam where Click & Collect orders are now offered in pick-up machines and smaller orders in Pick-Up lockers. IKEA employees place the orders on a cart at the top of the vending machines. The customer then keys in a code at the order hatch, and the order begins its journey downstairs. The collection machines can issue 480 orders per day. This new way of picking up orders is part of IKEA's omnichannel strategy, which aims to increase accessibility to existing and new shopping channels. This allows customers to store at IKEA whenever and wherever they want. For this reason, IKEA is exploring the possibility of offering the Click & Collect service outside store opening hours.

Pick-up machine behind the scenes
Source: IKEA

Transformation

To create space for the vending machines in the store and to permanently close the doors of the external warehouse, the Amsterdam branch underwent a transformation. The Click & Collect orders are stored vertically (in height) instead of horizontally (on the floor) in the new cylindrical vending machines, saving a lot of space in the branch. The transition to 100% self-scanning cash registers also saves a lot of square footage. The freed up space was used to rearrange the warehouse, allowing for significantly more product storage and more efficient restocking of inventory throughout the day.

Retrieval locker
Source: IKEA

"I am proud of our team. Implementing the collection machines and rearranging the warehouse were not easy. Nevertheless, we were not closed for a day because much of the remodeling work took place in the evening and at night. We ventured into this exciting project anyway because this is the ideal logistics solution for both the customer and IKEA." Youssef Zouhair logistics director IKEA Netherlands.

External warehouse redundant

With this rearrangement and smart solutions, the external warehouse of nearly eight thousand square meters can close its doors. Previously, customers had to drive about 10 minutes after visiting the store to pick up their purchases there. Now all products are offered from the in-store warehouse. This is a big improvement for both customers and IKEA Amsterdam. IKEA Netherlands is exploring the possibilities of implementing the vending system in other stores as well.

channels: Tech in Retail

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