By Patrick C Budge C.DStrategic PR Plan (Project)BackgroundDECEMBER 16IKEA announced back on December 16 2010 that it will open a store in Winnipeg.The Swedishfurniture chain had purchased a piece of the former CN Intermodal Terminal site at KenastonBoulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway.The IKEA story begins in 1926 when founder Ingvar Kamprad is born in Småland in southernSweden. Ingvar wanted to develop a business and bythe 1980sIKEA had expanded dramaticallyinto the USA, Italy, France and the UK. In 1976 Ikea arrived in Canada IKEA is owned andoperated by a complicated array of not-for-profit and for-profit corporations. The corporatestructure is divided into two main parts: operations and franchising.In 1994, IKEA ran a commercial in the United States widely thought to be the first commercialfeaturing a homosexual couple. Another IKEA commercials feature the gay community, oncefeaturing a transgender woman.AwardsIKEA was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 and2005 by Working Mothers magazine. It ranked 96 in Fortunes 100 Best Companies to Work Forin 2006 and in October 2008, IKEA Canada LP was named one of "Canadas Top 100Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Macleans newsmagazine.Situation AnalysisStrengthsIKEA is amongst the biggest retailers of furniture in the world. Ikea sells more than 10,000furnishing products from well over 300 stores in around 40 countries. IKEA is a Scandinaviancompany famous for furniture from living rooms to childrens bedrooms.The retailers 350,000-square-foot store will be the anchor tenant in a massive big-boxdevelopment that will turn about 80 hectares of industrial land into the largest development thecity has seen in 25 years. This was former industrial land and it will take 12 years to fullydevelop the site.
By Patrick C Budge C.DWeaknessesHow will people perceive another big box store and do we need one? Will Ikea kill thecompetition? Police may need to direct traffic for up to 1 month post grand opening. Tax payersmay be upset by spending tax dollars to improve the infrastructure. It is expected to take about12 years to complete the entire development of the site.Luis Escobar, the citys transportation manager, said traffic crews plan to update the timing ofabout 12 signals on Kenaston between Academy Road and Scurfield Boulevard as soon as theycan. In 2007, the city synchronized the traffic signals as part of a pilot project. Since then, theresbeen a lot of construction in the area and some of the signal-timing equipment has beendisconnected or damaged, Escobar said. The initial traffic impact study analyzed future trafficvolumes and the congestion around intersections near the Seasons of Tuxedo development,where IKEA will be located, and assumed Kenaston would be widened to six lanes by 2018.IKEA is slated to open toward the end of the year, and the area is expected to see an additional695,000 square feet of retail and office space by 2018.OpportunitiesIt will mean more job’s, for local people here in Winnipeg. Ikea is using reclaimed industrialland. It will allow Manitobans to buy directly from the store as opposed to ordering online.Kenaston would be widened to six lanes by 2018, more jobs. IKEA is slated to open toward theend of the year, and the area is expected to see an additional 695,000 square feet of retail andoffice space by 2018. More revenue and jobs, for WinnipegThreatsLocal companies,in Winnipeg, that sells furniture. Winnipeg plans to look at possible bus routesdirect to IKEA .Tweaks, to the way lights are synchronized, to improve traffic flow to a majorretail development on Kenaston Boulevard. Will this just create more congestion in this area?Objectives:The objectives are to expand support, for our move into the Winnipeg/Manitoba market.Primarily this can be achieved in several ways: 1) Extol the virtues of long term stable employment. 2) IKEA will pay a large part of the infrastructure improvement at the location. 3) Highlight that this was already zoned industrial, so as to assure people that no new farm land is being used for this project.
By Patrick C Budge C.D 4) Give projections of the economic spin off from this development. 12 years of construction is a boost to the local economy, in conjunction with the jobs generated by the actual stores involved.Enlisting the support of many groups will be possible through the promotion of these themes.This will eliminate misgivings about the project. In addition it should bring those groupsopposed to development on board by showing that IKEA has chosen land that has already beenusedindustrially.MarketingStrategyPrimary Target Market:To retain existing IKEA customers, by wowing them with this large store. Customers can beencouraged to buy more products. This can be achieved by reminding the clients that they are nolonger burdened with the shipping costs, because they have their own store.Promotional campaignSomething to the effect that “Winnipeg IKEA listened to your wants”! “We have built you thelargest store in Canada to serve you better”!TacticsImplementation, this can be carried out in 3 primary ways.A) LocalCelebrities can be engaged to promote our coming. This campaign should start in Juneto build, for the Grand opening.B) Shoppers could be secretly hired, to get in line 2 days before the doors open, in order to buildthe anticipation. The opening will coincide with the start of school, so incentives could beoffered to post-secondary students to get them interested in the brand.
By Patrick C Budge C.DC) All of these efforts must be promoted through all media channels. It would also be a goodidea to have some dedicated bloggers and tweeters starting in May/June. This would be anexcellent opportunity to employ University and College students from the Public Relations andMarketing courses.IKEA would be well advised to employ, an advanced shopping stunt, at another location. Thiswas done successfully by Target in the GTA in advance of their official Canadian debut.Measurement*Google analytics will be able to measure feedback on our blog sites.*Radio and TV contests can further measure feedback of the response to IKEA launch.*Response to the advanced shopping stunt orchestrated before the official launch.