Five years after they opened, IKEA Canada says it will be closing the doors of its five remaining pick-up and order point locations effective Jan. 29.
The five stores, all located in Ontario, opened in 2015 as part of a global test program aimed at evaluating customer response to new retail formats, according to the Swedish retail giant.
The stores employ about 150 people in Kitchener, London, St. Catharines, Whitby, and Windsor.
A pick-up location had opened in Quebec City as part of the program, but closed in 2018 when a full-size retail store opened in the region.
“Now the global test has concluded and IKEA Canada has made the decision to close its existing Pick-up and Order Point units,” the company said in a statement Monday.
“We appreciate the support we’ve received from these communities over the past several years and we remain committed to serving them in the best possible way.”
IKEA said it would work with impacted employees through the transition to find the “best option” for them, including support to find a new position elsewhere within the company.
“Canada was one of several test countries for the Pick-up and Order Point concept. However the announcement today only surrounds the Canadian units,” said IKEA Canada spokesperson, Kristin Newbigging, via email.
In its statement, the company said it would use insights gathered during the test program to “inform how we continue to evolve and adapt as a business.”
Customers have until Jan. 15 to order a delivery to one of the pick-up and order locations, and until Jan. 29 to pick up a delivery.
IKEA’s future plans for the five municipalities, meanwhile, remain to be seen.
The company had planned to open a full-size retail store in south London by the end of 2019, but put that plan on pause in July 2018 citing a “rapidly changing retail environment.”
Despite the hold, an IKEA spokesperson said at the time that it remained committed to the London market. It’s not clear whether IKEA still plans to open the location. The company has a purchase agreement for the location, near Wellington Road and Hwy. 401.
In 2018, IKEA announced it planned to add small shops to 30 cities around the world. The smaller shops come in three different formats.
IKEA has already added 15 of the smaller stores across 10 city centres around the world, and plans to open one in Toronto within the next two years.
The company has 14 full-size retail stores and 19 collection points across Canada.
— With files from Matthew Trevithick and The Canadian Press