Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. furniture
    • ex. I want to buy a kitchen table, sofa, and other furniture for my new house.
  2. a warehouse
    • ex. The company keeps most of its products in a warehouse.
  3. accessible
    • ex. My new office is very accessible; it’s close to five different train lines.
  4. demand
    • ex. The demand for face masks and cleaning products greatly increased this year.
  5. spruce up
    • ex. He spruced up his bedroom by painting the walls.

Article

Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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Swedish furniture store Ikea says that it’s planning to open 50 new stores in major cities across Europe, Russia, North America, Asia, and Oceania. According to Ikea executive Jon Abrahamsson Ring, the new stores won’t be as big as their usual warehouse-style stores. He explained that the company wants to be more accessible, so they will be experimenting with smaller stores and new locations that are closer to homes and offices.

Currently, Ikea has more than 430 stores located in 52 countries. This year, the company’s online sales increased by 45%, and its website had four billion visits. According to Ikea, the demand for its products increased because many people wanted to spruce up their homes during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Despite the rise in online sales, Ring said customers still like to visit physical stores. He explained that many customers want to actually touch products before buying them and get help from Ikea staff, and that’s why Ikea is planning to open so many stores this year.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Stores

  • In your opinion, should Ikea focus on building more physical stores or expanding their online store? Why? Discuss.
  • In the future, do you think it will be possible to buy everything from online stores? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that experimenting with smaller stores that are closer to homes and offices is a good idea for Ikea? Why or why not? Discuss.

Homes

  • Do you think it's important to decorate your home? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think people should be encouraged to spend more time at home? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, what's the most important part of the home (ex. the kitchen, the living room)? Why? Discuss.