An Ikea store in Costa Mesa. Ikea is looking into opening budget hotels across… (Don Kelsen / Los Angeles…)
Backpacking across Europe? Soon, travelers may be able to bunk in budget hotels from Swedish home furnishing giant Ikea.
The owner of Ikea’s intellectual property rights, Inter Ikea, is planning to open at least 100 such lodgings across the continent, according to the Financial Times. But the company won’t run the affordably priced boutique hotels, nor will it give them the Ikea name.
Instead, an established hotel operator will take charge, according to the Times. Inter Ikea is also looking at building residences for students.
No word on whether such properties – which will likely be scattered across established markets such as Britain, the Netherlands and Poland and new ones such as Germany – will also serve the Swedish meatballs available in the stores.
The $11-billion Ikea brand is owned separately from Ikea stores, though Inter Ikea gets a cut of all revenue pulled in by franchises.
In 2007, Ikea Norway pulled off a similar concept: The Ikea Hostel. The one-week event allowed shoppers to sleep free of charge overnight in an Oslo warehouse, dormitory-style with stacked beds. Even a bridal suite and a luxury suite were available, as were family rooms.
This summer, Ikea installed a temporary VIP lounge in the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in France. For free, visitors could watch television from a sofa, take a nap in one of nine bedrooms or watch their children burn off restlessness in the playroom.
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