// Ikea reveals plans to open a unique new small store format in Hammersmith, West London
// Store will be located within Kings Mall Shopping Centre, newly acquired by Ingka Centres
// Ingka Centres is Ikea’s property arm and the acquisition forms part of a £170m investment
Ikea has acquired a West London shopping centre where it will also launch its first UK small format store.
The Swedish retail giant’s property arm, Ingka Centres, bought Kings Mall Shopping Centre in Hammersmith for £170 million as the company pushes on with strategy to develop mixed-use sites around urban stores.
It said it would use the shopping centre to open a new, smaller store format in spring 2021.
- Ikea profits dip 10% as it announces £171m investment
- Ikea posts full-year sales growth in the UK
- Ikea eyes shopping centre sites as part of expansion plan
The acquisition also marks the “next step” in Ikea’s strategy to move further into city centres despite the challenges that currently plague the UK high street.
“Our plan to open a new city centre store in Hammersmith is an exciting next step as we continue to respond to people’s evolving shopping habits, making Ikea more convenient than ever before,” Ikea UK country retail manager Peter Jelkeby said.
“People have been eager to see our affordable range and access our life-at-home expertise on the high street for some time, so we’re excited to introduce a unique Ikea store to the vibrant local community in Hammersmith and London.”
The opening will take Ikea’s London store portfolio to six sites, having launched its latest big box-format store in the city in Greenwich just last year.
Ikea also launched two London planning studios last year – one in central London and another in Bromley – under its plan to develop new formats for inner city locations.
The retailer said the new, smaller store in Hammersmith will include more than 2000 home furnishing accessories.
Ikea already has a handful of smaller inner city store across mainlaind Europe, including sites in Paris and Moscow.
The site at Hammersmith will be its first smaller UK shop.
“Our urban projects are all about getting closer to more people,” Ingka Centre managing director Gerard Groener said.
“More of our customers are living in cities than ever before, and a regenerated Kings Mall will be an ideal location for reaching millions of Londoners.”
Speculation that Ikea was eyeing up shopping centres as part of an expansion plan first arose in October last year.
The furniture retailer had welcomed new staff to its property team and had reportedly been looking purchase the freehold of at least one shopping centre in Greater London, while also targeting others nationwide, Retail Week reported at the time.
It’s thought that Ikea was aiming to capitalise on the decreased valuations of many shopping centres, which also allows the retailer to expand its presence into more central locations.
with PA Wires