Pet owners visiting branches of Swedish furniture brand Ikea in Germany can now leave their dogs in secure, specially designed ‘parking’ bays while they do their shopping.
Ikea Germany doesn’t allow pets (except for guide dogs) in the store, citing safety and hygienic concerns. But in a bid to please its large contingent of pet-loving customers, the company has devised individual bays for pets, equipped with Astroturf lawns and bowls of fresh, cold water.
The service recognises the significant number of consumers who do not want to leave their dogs at home while they go shopping – an issue already acknowledged by a growing number of US brands. Luxury jewellery brand Tiffany and department stores Nordstrom, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue have all responded to the demands of dog-owning shoppers by allowing well-behaved canines in-store.
Catering to niche tastes seems to be an ongoing pursuit for Ikea. The service follows the firm’s more controversial introduction of a Manland area to its store in Sydney, Australia, last year. The area is a tongue-in-cheek space, featuring table football, television and video games aimed at men who are bored by shopping (see previous thread).