Commentary: IKEA is planning to open around 10 small stores in Canada over the next year that — if successful — could become the blueprint for other world markets including the UK.

The small shops will be around 37,000sqft in size, large by most retailers’ standards but only around one tenth of a typical IKEA superstore.

Their use will also differ from a standard IKEA unit — in that the Swedish giant plans to use them more for storage than displaying product.

This is because the small format shops will used as ‘pick-up’ stores for online orders, or click and collect as we more commonly describe them here in the UK.

Its initiative is not totally unlike that being rolled out by Argos (our words not theirs) which has introduced a hub and spoke model across its vast store network.

This sees larger hub stores carry a full product line that can rapidly feed the smaller spoke stores to ensure same or next day collection is available to customers nationwide.

Retailers the world over are looking at store sizes and many are deciding that smaller is better because of structural change in the way customers are shopping.

IKEA’s UK store pipeline comprises four large superstores: along the M4 corridor, at Exeter, Sheffield and another sizeable shop in London.

There is no confirmed opening date for any of these stores. What are the odds that an IKEA ’pick-up’ store opens here first?