Ikea, the Swedish home furnishing magnate known for affordable put-it-together-yourself furniture, is getting into the hotel business.
Inter Ikea, the company that owns Ikea's intellectual property rights, is putting feelers out for locations of a "budget design" hotel, reports the Financial Times.
The company is looking to open 100 locations of the hotel chain that will offer "a boutique feel at affordable prices," according to the Daily Mail. The Ikea name will not be used for the hotels, which will not be run by Ikea, but rather an established hotelier.
"We will announce within weeks the first location for our budget hotel in Germany and are in talks with hotel operators to rapidly implement our concept," Harald Müller, a project manager at Inter Ikea, told German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The company is looking to open hotels in countries where it already has a market, like the UK, the Netherlands and Poland, as well as breaking into new regions like Germany. A project expert values it at 1 billion euros, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
No word on whether the Swedish meatballs will be available in the hotel restaurant.
This isn't Ikea's first foray into a lodging market. In 2007 Ikea Norway opened an Ikea Hostel, where customers could sleep overnight if they haven't finished shopping, The Guardian reported. For one week, customers were able to spend the night in one of two Oslo Ikea warehouses -- for free. This year, Ikea set up a temporary lounge in Paris' Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport from July to August where travelers could rest between flights.
Ikea is also getting in on the city planning game, announcing this year that in 2013 the company will begin construction on a self-contained neighborhood in East London, which will be called Strand East.
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