Paris — IKEA opened its first store in the heart of Paris on Monday, its latest step in developing a new range of shops designed to meet changing customer habits. IKEA, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, is known for its vast self-service out-of-town stores, but it is adapting its business model in the face of mounting competition and customers who prefer the ease of buying items of furniture online. To a soundtrack of Abba songs and with staff waving blue and yellow Swedish flags, IKEA opened the doors on Monday at its first store in central Paris, in the Madeleine district, which will be its 34th outlet overall in France. “La Madeleine is an innovation test laboratory for us. We want to serve the people who know and love IKEA but think IKEA is too far away,” Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group which owns most IKEA stores, said. “If La Madeleine is successful, we will open more such stores in France, but also in the US, Japan,” he said. Its other city-centre formats include a d...

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