Ikea has always been a furniture staple in the Singapore scene. The Swedish furniture giant has 2 large warehouse branches operating in Singapore since the 90s. Now Ikea is starting a foray into mall shops, operating a small retail outlet right here in the heart of the Jurong East shopping district. Let’s check them out Ikea JEM Jurong with a walkthrough.
A micro Ikea quick retail store
Interestingly, the micro Ikea stores might be new in Singapore, but such concepts had been explored with success in Japan. Despite the small store footprint, the JEM Ikea pop-up store spans over 3 floors in JEM from the third floor of the shopping center. Also, these 3 floors are served by interior escalators and elevators.
Furthermore, surprisingly, in my walk around, you can find bulky items in the showroom here, including bedding items such as full beds, frames and even book cases. Also, there is also a working desk sector with gaming chairs and a small curated garden and plant section.
However, don’t expect to carry any of such merchandise from the store here as there is no warehousing or ready stocks here in-store. In fact, large items here are instead fulfilled by the Alexandra or Tampines sites via home delivery.
Limited value offerings
We can see this Ikea store targeted at casual shopping crowd in heartland malls. But with this comes with some restriction typically not seen in a regular full-fledged Ikea store, such as in-store collections. Also, the store does not have a full-fledged warehouse selection, particularly for larger bulkier items like sofas, beds and wardrobes.
Hence, this somewhat diminishes the store’s value offerings. One can simply just order bulky furniture you need online without having to even visit the store. Hence, what you can take back form the store are the smaller display items curated. This includes accessories, plants, small household products which you can “cash and carry” after purchasing it right off the store here. In addition, interestingly, you can order items from either Ikea Alexandra or Tampines and have them delivered to Jurong for self-collection.
Additionally, this mini Ikea is catered for the Singapore’s west-side demographics. Given existing Ikea stores already located at both Alexandra (south) and the largest Tampines (East branches). Also, this JEM branch is presumably to target the casual shopping crowd. Sales which would be otherwise lost to patrons actually making a point to visit their larger stores in comparatively more remote locations.
However, you can’t find detailed interior home mock ups like what you can find in Ikea’s bigger stores. It mostly down and dirty retail shelves of items on sale here. So you are out of luck trying to find interior ideas of inspiration in their JEM store.
Moreover, moving on, the top floor is where the Ikea restaurant reside. It is a staple in every Ikea establishment, especially for those who crave Ikea’s renowned Swedish meatballs. You can find a full-fledged restaurant with the works including an exterior bistro and a Swedish market. Delightfully, you can find $2.50 hotdogs here on sale too.
Also, checkout counters are available on the top floor when you are ready with your shopping. However, being situated in a mall, you don’t get any free parking or subsidies with your Ikea purchases here.
All in all, I find a micro Ikea tad dilutes the “Ikea experience”. One typically to be a day out exploring large home interior and coming with ideas. But the JEM store does serve well as a quick shop-and-grab store for Ikea essentials, though you won’t really know what is in-store and what not. Probably a means for Ikea to bring the brand more heartland exposure.