// Ikea looks to bolster property team in order to establish a better presence
// The shopping centres will offer Ikea a more convenient and central location
// Ikea hopes to benefit from the falling valuation of many shopping centres
Ikea is reportedly strengthening its property team as it looks to acquire shopping centres as part of an expansion programme.
The Swedish furniture retailer has already welcomed new staff to its property team from the wider business and it now aims to purchase the freehold of at least one shopping centre in Greater London, while also targeting others nationwide, Retail Week reported.
Ikea said it is aiming to capitalise on the decreased valuations of many shopping centres, which also allows the retailer to expand its presence into more central locations.
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Moreover, Ikea opened its first smaller-format planning studio on London’s Tottenham Court Road last year as part of an expansion programme.
In February this year, it opened a Greenwich branch.
Ikea has also been working with several UK local authorities to begin building flatpack, affordable housing through property development firm BoKlok – which it jointly owns.
Earlier this month, Ikea revealed that it might be forced to pay a historic tax bill worth millions of euros as a two-year investigation by the European Commission approaches its imminent conclusion.
The commission’s investigation could see Inter Ikea – The Netherlands-based operator of Ikea’s franchise business which records global franchise fees revenue – forced to pay back millions of euros in back tax.
According to City AM, the probe focused on Inter Ikea’s franchise business and came about after an EU parliament report discovered Ikea allegedly avoided paying €1 billion (£880 million) over a six-year period.