Swedish home furnishing mammoth IKEA will be making some changes to how it does business. Don't worry, those six-foot bookcases you have to put together with a two-inch Allen wrench aren't going anywhere. Instead, the change sweeping all 41 IKEA locations in the U.S. centers on the stores' restaurants, according to the Washington Post.
IKEA's U.S. president Lars Petersson said the food at IKEA "is becoming a core business." Its product developers have noticed an increase in foot traffic favoring food over furniture, meaning the restaurants in IKEA are holding their own alongside the selection of Billy bookcases and $10 end tables.
Part of IKEA's strategy for catering to these customers includes implementing a three-zone setup for the store restaurants, including a family-friendly space, one with a coffee shop vibe, and a high-topped table area for people on-the-go.
IKEA's most prominent product, Swedish meatballs, have attracted customers for years, and the stores even sell packaged take-home products so visitors can overhaul the interior of their homes as well as their freezers. The chain is even expanding its meatball offerings, recently adding vegan meatballs as well as a chicken variety. (Definitely not horse meatballs, though.) With IKEA food division sales up 8 percent, this overhaul could prove mighty lucrative for the international furniture chain.