This is it! IKEA inaugurated in Nice its "Design Workshop" dedicated to the furbishment of kitchens and dressing rooms. It's a small establishment of around 300 sq. m, located in the city centre a few steps away from Nicetoile and the Avenue Jean Médecin (rue Paul Déroulède). The rest of its infrastructure, located near the Allianz Riviera stadium, is still under construction. As announced by Walter Kadnar, the Swedish company's French boss, the giant infrastructure will open in the first quarter of 2022. However, the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, who was also present at the Design Workshop's inauguration, more cautiously announced its opening in the first half of 2022.
Preparing the opening of the Nice Saint-Isidore department shop
The inauguration was very media-friendly with a "masked" crowd of reporters, photographers, radio journalists, and videographers. It was an excellent opportunity to describe the workshop's purpose, as it's an unprecedented concept in France. For Walter Kadnar, this opening aimed to mark Ikea's arrival in Nice and ensure proximity by getting closer to its customers. This new format also supports the company's desire to embark on an international sales strategy and, of course, to prepare as well as possible for the opening of the Saint-Isidore department shop in less than two years.
What will be done there? Workshop manager Patrick Carzola gave the idea. About ten salesmen, specialised in interior design and skillfully trained in creating complex projects, will advise and accompany the people of Nice by appointment. They will draw and design best-suited solutions to IKEA customers' needs, from kitchen design to optimal storage space. To help them project themselves on-site and develop their project, visitors will also be able to draw inspiration from the proposed settings, discover the functionalities of the layouts, test and choose the equipment and finishes of their choice.
A new phase in IKEA's development in the Southern Region
Visitors also have access to the entire IKEA catalogue. There, they can order products online and have them delivered directly to their homes. Will the workshop, which is housed in a former tap shop, be maintained when the more significant Saint-Isidore infrastructure opens? When asked about this, Walter Kadnar was unsure. It will depend on customer demand and how much interest there is in it. Furthermore, it is not assured that this format, first developed in Nice, will be duplicated according to the same model in other French regions or European countries.
Nevertheless, IKEA is now launching a new phase in its development in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. On a regional level, the workshop complements the 4 shops in Toulon, Montpellier, Marseille Vitrolles, and Marseille La Valentine to add to the 2 withdrawal points of Carros and Saint Laurent du Var. Above all, it marks what the people of the Côte d'Azur have been waiting for after then ten years: the grand opening of IKEA!
- Jean-Pierre Largillet