IKEA is scouting three cities in Mexico to determine where it will place its first store locations in the country, according to a Reuters report. The home furnishings retailer is looking at sites in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.
“We’re looking at the biggest cities in Mexico, with those three being the most important,” Antonia Banuelos-Leon, Country Marketing Manager for IKEA Mexico, told Reuters. Banuelos-Leon said the company is likely to officially announce its Mexico plans within a month, but that there is no timeline for when the first store will be built.
Banuelos-Leon said IKEA Mexico, which is part of IKEA franchisee Ikano Group, opened an office in Mexico City last April and has advertised job openings there and in Guadalajara in recent months.
Stores in Europe and the U.S. drive the majority of sales for Inter IKEA Group and its franchisees, but the company is seeking growth elsewhere: late in 2018, IKEA announced plans to enter Latin America, starting with Chile in 2020, followed by Colombia and Peru. Presently, IKEA has 427 stores across 52 markets.
The Mexico news coincides with IKEA’s announcement that its first city-center location in the U.S. — the IKEA Planning Studio — will open to the public on April 15. Located at 999 Third Avenue in New York City, the new IKEA store format will depart from the product-heavy focus of most stores, instead providing inspiration and smart solutions for city living and small spaces.
Globally, IKEA recently announced the development of 30 new touch points in city centers over the next three years, to be more accessible and convenient for customers wherever they are. The company recently opened a small-format store in central London, and a 53,800-square-foot city-center store in Paris is set to open on May 6.
While IKEA hasn’t revealed the type of store formats that would be placed in Mexico, given the density of the Mexico City metropolitan area — estimated at more than 20 million people — a city center may make more sense to capture the urban shopper rather than the traditional warehouse-size store located on the city’s outskirts.