Work & Co is saying "hej" to Copenhagen.
The digital shop has opened a new European outpost in the city after Ikea— whose headquarters is in nearby Malmo, Sweden—recently named Work & Co its digital product partner. The win comes as the agency sees a number of digital product agency-of-record relationships.
"Work & Co's known for its track record of defining and launching the world's best digital experiences—especially in retail," Barbara Martin Coppola, chief digital officer at Ikea, said in a statement. "That's why we chose them to help IKEA improve engagement with our customers across e-commerce, mobile shopping and in-store experiences."
Work & Co co-founder Gene Liebel says this sort of client-agency marriage allows for deeper, more transformative work.
"The model we have with IKEA allows for full integration of agency and client teams and continuous problem-solving. It's the opposite of a one-off project," he says. "Many companies have developed potentially interesting retail vision decks, but in the end I think everyone discovers it's impossible to ship anything useful without total integration of the strategy, design and technology disciplines."
Ikea's CEO Jesper Brodin has vowed to made big changes at the furniture group as traditional retailers face disruption by direct-to-consumer upstarts and a shift to online shopping. It is also opening different store formats in cities, as opposed to its traditional big stores. The company has also cut thousands of jobs as it attempts to become more nimble, and, the Wall Street Journal reports, it is building a shopping app and looking to AI to reduce supply chain costs and to better understand customer desires.
The new Copenhagen office is Work & Co's sixth, with other offices in Brooklyn, Portland, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belgrade. Its Scandinavian locale lends to a strong design heritage, the company says.
The region is also known for its strong work-life balance values: "Our strategy for opening offices has always been to go where the best talent prefers to live," Casey Sheehan, design partner at Work & Co, said in an emailed statement. "Copenhagen is another of those hubs."