IKEA opens a brand new concept: Öland

IKEA is experimenting with a new pilot play concept in its facility in Zwolle, the Netherlands. This store opened without the 'Småland' main play area to try something new.

Zwolle , The Netherlands
Yalp Netherlands

Play Area Concept

IKEA wanted to try something new and introduced a few unsupervised play areas divided over the store as an alternative to Småland. But after nearly 1,5 years, this concept appears to have failed. Sandra Schouten, store manager at IKEA, explains, "The kids loved it very much! But dragging their children away from every play area to continue shopping was very tiring for parents".

The store received several requests from parents to have one centrally located supervised play area. So IKEA changed their play policy and developed a new concept; Öland or 'Island.' A concept was created to focus more on stimulating creativity and children's physical activity. A kind of 'Smaland' but different. No ball pit, but a slide, crafts corner, and a Yalp Sona Interactive dance and play arch in rainbow colours.

The first playtesters of this new concept were children from a nearby primary school. Their enthusiastic reactions confirmed this new vision for IKEA. The ongoing success is measured through the innovative technologies of the Sona, which tracks how often games are being played and for how long. This Sona is being played 68% of the time when switched on, an average of 5 hours and 37 minutes per day!

The kids loved it very much!

The IKEA in the city of Zwolle is a popular place for a lot of families. Not in the least because of the Swedish styled playground with rainbow Sona. The Sona replaced the traditional ball play area.

Success at IKEA worldwide

The Sona has proven to be of great value to shopping centres. IKEAs in Eastern Europe have experienced similar success after installing the play arch at three locations. The play statistics at these locations are skyrocketing, and one has taken first place in the ranking of Sona's worldwide. The Sona, at one location, has even been played for 9+ hours daily!

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