Image above: ALAMY via The Telegraph
IKEA, that ubiquitous Swedish stalwart, has recently unveiled plans to build over 100 design boutique hotels across northern Europe. The retailer has been quite active recently, with a temporary lounge in Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, and a new line of furnishings. This most recent move came as IKEA’s normally secretive parent company, Inter IKEA, revealed a worth of over €9 billion, making it one of the world’s most profitable enterprises.
The boutique hotels will be concentrated mainly in the UK, the Netherlands, and Poland, countries in which Inter IKEA already owns land. The company plans to retain ownership of all of the hotels, but to pass on management to other corporations, getting a cut of the profits but not becoming distracted by a new arm of business. The hotels will mix high design with modest pricing, as IKEA reaches out toward its traditional consumer base of students and young professionals. One of these hotels has already been built (photos below), most likely as a test case. The Tulip Inn Hotel in Delft, the Netherlands, features IKEA furniture and decorations.
IKEA also has plans to develop an 11-hectare site near London’s Olympic Park into a mixed-use residential/office/retail neighborhood. It would include several seven-to-eleven story buildings as well as a walkable main street. Undoubtedly, the company has many other new ventures up its sleeve as it continues it gradual worldwide conquest.
Tulip Inn Hotel, Delft
Images of Tulip Inn Hotel Delft via Staalmakers