The Hammersmith outlet is a quarter of the size of a traditional Ikea store.
24 February 2022
Ikea opens its first city centre store in the UK today with the company’s boss saying he hopes it will mean shoppers come to the retailer more often.
Customers will be able to buy home accessories and soft furnishings at the new site in Hammersmith, west London, but they will also be able to see entire room sets and order beds, wardrobes and bookshelves for home deliveries.
UK and Ireland boss Peter Jelkeby said if the store proved successful it could see the format rolled out to other UK cities.
He told the PA news agency: “You should be able to shop with Ikea physically without a car. This was the perfect location for that. You can take public transport, you can bike, you don’t need a car.
“We hope to find demographics of customers who can support this kind of experience.”
The boss explained that customers typically visit an Ikea store only a handful of times a year and this should help to increase those trips.
He said: “We want customers to be able to shop more spontaneously and pop in for things like extra candles. But customers won’t be able to walk out with a Billy bookshelf.”
The new store is part of a £1 billion investment in London over the next three years, with a second city centre store set to take over part of the former Topshop flagship site in Oxford Circus in autumn next year.
Hammersmith’s store will be inside the Kings Mall shopping centre, which was bought in 2020 by Ikea’s Ingka Centre business.
The centre is pitched as the future of retailing and has been rebranded as Livat Hammersmith, with bosses hoping to win over local shoppers with pop-up stores and community spaces as part of a £170 million refurbishment.
The new Ikea store is a quarter of the size of a typical site and will offer 1,800 products, alongside 4,000 display products.
Customers will also be able to buy food and drink, including the retailer’s famous meatballs.
Mr Jelkeby added: “We are not looking at one store in isolation. This is about the whole business and how we can be relevant on the high street.”