Ikea is getting into the hotel business. The Swedish home furnishing giant known for its trendy, but affordable, task-mastry do-it-yourself furniture is planning to open a few hotels in Europe, according to the Financial Times.
Reports say Inter Ikea, the company that owns Ikea's intellectual property rights, is looking to open 100 "budget design" hotels. (Read: boutique hotels at affordable prices.)
"We will announce within weeks the first location for our budget hotel in Germany and are in talks with hotel operators to rapidly implement our concept," Harald Müller, a project manager at Inter Ikea, told German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Will the hotel be organized like an Ikea store maze, featuring different zones for different furniture? Will the hotel gift shop offer Ikea furniture items you can bring home? Will turndown service include vouchers on your pillow for discounts at local Ikea stores? Will the hotel restaurant serve Swedish meatballs? Nothing has been set in stone, but the possibilities are endless.
Müller said the company wants to open hotels in countries where it already has a following, like the UK, the Netherlands and Poland, but plans to break into new markets like Germany. The Ikea name will not be used for the hotels, which will not be run by Ikea, but rather an established hotelier.
In 2007, Ikea Norway opened an Ikea Hostel, which was meant to board customers who weren't quite done shopping. Earlier this year, Ikea set up a temporary lounge in Paris' Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport, so travelers could rest between flights.
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