IKEA plans new Vienna location without parking

The store is aimed at pedestrians, cyclists and people who use public transportation

As IKEA prepares a new store in Vienna, Austria, it appears that designers forgot one thing: a place to park cars. The store, set to open in 2021, is aimed at pedestrians, cyclists and people who use public transportation. Purchases too big to be carried will be delivered through a nearby logistics center within 24 hours.

Perhaps even better: The store includes a rooftop park that will be open to the public to use even when the store is closed. The top two floors of the seven-story location include the Accor concept JO&JOE, which features a fully integrated restaurant and bar and a hybrid hotel/hostel. 

This is the latest in IKEA’s urban concepts, which bring the massive retailer into a city setting. It also is the latest experiment into a world without vehicles. In January, Toyota introduced its Woven City, a 175-acre site where the automaker previously built cars. Now, it is conducting experiments into the city of the future, where it can test autonomous driving and hydrogen fuel cell power, among other things.

IKEA has long been ahead of massive consumer shifts, so what it does is always worth noting. It also begs a question as retailers build new locations: What does the future hold for all those obsolete parking spaces? It may take a while to get there — but smart retailers are already starting those conversations.

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