It is not that they have to speak Swedish, or know a complete Abba album, but the 60 people who prepare the arrival of Ikea to Chile have been learning for months about the culture of the iconic furniture and decoration store. And from your country of origin.
Since May 17, 2018, when Falabella hit the ground running and announced that it had acquired the franchise to install the brand created 75 years ago by Ingvar Kamprad in Chile, Colombia and Peru, the work began incessantly. US $ 600 million were allocated to refurbish premises and hire personnel.
In addition, a regional board of directors was formed chaired by the former corporate general manager of Home Improvement, Enrique Gundermann and made up of Alejandro Arze, Jordi Gaju, Juan Fernando Correa and Sergio Muñoz. All men from Falabella.
And the process has been quiet, in part, because many of the decisions have to be made with the permission of Europe. According to those who know the business, the Nordics have an impressive level of detail, especially for the Chilean standard.
And it is that anyone who has entered an Ikea store in Paris, Madrid or Stockholm perceives the same distribution of the aisles, and even very similar music and aromas. And all that, they want to transfer it to Santiago, Bogotá and Lima. Nothing can be left to chance, they emphasize.
The first thing was to find locations, or rather to choose which Homy stores would switch to the Ikea format, since the Homy stores will gradually disappear, although they will remain as a brand within the Sodimac Homecenter and on sodimac.com. The Homy of the Kennedy Open in Las Condes and the Tottus of the Plaza Oeste in Cerrillos were chosen.
In the case of Chile, the locations should be opening in the first quarter of 2022, for Colombia and Peru there is no date, but yes or yes it will be after Chile.
It was first planned to do it in early 2021 in Santiago, but the pandemic delayed everything. Even several months the work stopped completely, although inside the Open Kennedy store, for example, it is still used as a kind of warehouse, to deliver the sales made through the website.
The place of delivery to the client is right in the Sodimac of the same shopping center of the Falabella group next to Parque Arauco. But in parallel with the search and commissioning of these locations, they had to put together a team.
Well located places, with a lot of neighboring residential sector and with different socioeconomic segments. While in Colombia it will be in the Calima shopping center, which Mall Plaza has just acquired; and in Lima, there is still no defined place.
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