Ikea, the multi-national home decor and products company, is now expanding its business model from bookshelves and meatballs to hotels. The Scandinavian chain is looking to open up a series of budget-friendly hotels in Europe.
Are you traveling to Europe in the next few years? When you do, be sure to keep an eye out for budget hotels brought to you by the property division of Inter Ikea, the company that owns the intellectual property rights of Ikea, the Associated Press has learned.
The Scandinavian furniture juggernaut is planning on establishing 100 hotels across Europe. Its first hotel is scheduled to open in 2014 and will be located in Germany. Other planned locations include Austria, Britain, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries and other nations in Eastern Europe.
If you do stay at an Ikea hotel don’t expect to see any Ikea products or even its name. Don’t worry, though, it will still maintain the Ikea philosophy of “good quality at a reasonable price” and the interior design because the hotels will be designed by Nordic designers.
“Budget designer hotels' is today the fastest developing hotel segment. There is no IKEA furniture in it,” said Harald Muller, a Brussels-based business development manager of Inter Ikea's property division, in an interview with Reuters. “It is not an IKEA hotel. It's a continuation of our normal investment activities in real estate.”
Muller declined to give the name of the hotel, but noted that it will be officially announced in September.
Since the 1990s, Inter Ikea has already owned several hotels in Europe. It will now cooperate with another business to operate the hotel chain.
The Swedish global furniture chain has more than 280 stores in 25 nations and employs approximately 130,000 people. In 2010, it reported revenues of 23.5 billion euros ($29.04 billion).