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IKEA And H&M Open Up “Ideas Factory” For Creatives

IKEA And H&M Open Up “Ideas Factory” For Creatives

The two Swedish giants hope the joint retail venture, which invites small-scale artists to apply for grants and develop new products, will serve to develop and incubate future ways of retailing. 

The partner-concept called Atelier100 will open inside Ikea’s first United Kingdom shopping center, Livat, in Hammersmith. “Livat” is a Swedish word that represents places that bring people together for unique experiences that go far beyond just shopping. Living up to its name, Atelier100 has recently announced an open call for creatives and producers based within 100 kilometers of the Hammersmith store to design and develop products which the retailer can sell on its shelves. 

The idea of the Ikea-H&M joint venture was to recreate the “high street” physical and artisan shopping experience that has been hit hard by the pandemic and subsequent exponential acceleration of ecommerce retailing. Applicants who make it into the program will receive up to £10,000 (~$13,000) to help turn their ideas into a saleable, scalable, commercially viable reality. Successful program winners will also receive training and mentorship along the way from Ikea and H&M leaders, plus external experts. 

All kinds of projects will be accepted, with the limiting factor being that any proposed product must be of a reasonable size for retailing, small enough that shoppers can comfortably carry it out of the Livat Hammersmith store without the need for a car to transport. The competition is open to proposed items across beauty and fashion, to jewelry, art, and even music. Livat’s interior design and aesthetic is also set to change to reflect the accepted projects and encase them in a more experientially supportive retail environment. 

A year-long pilot project, the Atelier100  co-creation store will serve as a meeting place and workplace for designers and makers to sell their creations while fostering new alliances and ideas. If it works, further venues will be developed in other cities around the world in future by the two Swedish companies. 


This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ report, Reframing The Store As A Service.