Photo: Ikea Japan

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has opened the doors to its new Tokyo outlet, a double-storey complex with its very own konbini or convenience store. If you haven’t gotten acquainted with Japan’s konbini, they are pretty much 24-hour convenience stores that sell everything from hot meals to groceries and even clothing items.

Officially opened on 8 June, it is strategically positioned in Harajuku, and is the first city store in the country. It was originally slated to open on April 25, 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Occupying just 2,500 sq m, it follows the ‘small-scale’ concepts of Ikea’s stores in Paris and Manhattan.

It also has a smaller range of reportedly 9,500 items on offer, which are categorised into four: Sleep, Organise, Relax, and Cook & Eat.

On the first level is the convenience store, or what is dubbed the Swedish konbini. Here, customers can zip in and purchase snacks and beverages, plant-based cup ramen and ice cream, organic drinks, and even take away pastries, cinnamon rolls and coffee.

There’s also the Swedish Cafe, where you won’t find the chain’s famous Swedish meatballs but a flatbread (or tunnbröd) menu that is exclusive to the Harajuku outlet.

On the upper levels, customers can shop the retailer’s furniture and design solutions. Unlike the rest of Japan’s outlets, Ikea Harajuku offers smaller, more compact designs that target Tokyo’s urban apartment-dwelling crowd as well as sustainable living.