IKEA pledges to invest in London and accessibility

Published on February 24, 2022

As IKEA opened its first small UK store today – in Hammersmith, West London – owner Ingka Group announced a £1b investment into the capital over the next three years, reflecting its long-term commitment to becoming more convenient and accessible to its customers.

Ingka Group says it will invest in new and existing ways to shop and bring people together, including new services, city-centre stores, developing existing stores and new fulfilment and delivery capabilities.

Peter Jelkeby, country retail manager and chief sustainability officer, IKEA UK and Ireland, says: “Everything we do starts with our customers. Over the next three years, we will continue to transform as we respond to their needs and dreams, today and tomorrow. As one of the most innovative and exciting markets in the world for retail and ecommerce, we will step up our omnichannel investments in London with a simple goal – to become more customer centric, so that people can shop with us for a better, more sustainable life at home, whenever, wherever and however they choose.”

At a quarter of the size of a traditional store, IKEA Hammersmith offers 1800 products to take away and another 4000 on display. The full range remains available for delivery, alongside in-store planning services that support customers in designing bespoke solutions for more complex spaces.

With a focus on accessibility, the store has been designed around the needs of those shopping in city centres. It is IKEA’s first cashless store in the UK.

This opening will be followed by IKEA’s move onto Oxford Street in autumn 2023, with planning for the unique space under way, and other locations under consideration.

IKEA UK will also continue to focus on improving the customer experience, investing in existing stores and expanding its service offering and fulfilment network. In December, IKEA will open a new distribution centre in Dartford, expanding its fulfilment capacity by +20%, unlocking 24-hour deliveries and meaning 60% of deliveries into the capital will be zero emission from day one.

In a first-of-its-kind click-and-collect service for furniture items, Collect Near You Lockers, a collaboration between IKEA UK, Shift and Access Self Storage, mean deliveries will be made available to customers living within a 45km radius of a locker. Two pilot sites are live – if successful, the rollout will see 20 sites added across London by the end of the year.

“Whilst London is the initial focus of our city-centre approach, our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people,” Peter continues. “All of our efforts centre on creating happy customers, and we will learn from our London approach, whilst continuing to develop plans for other city-centre locations as well as the wider UK and Ireland, to bring our offer even closer.”

The development of the Hammersmith store was enabled by the acquisition of the Kings Mall by Ingka Centres in 2019. Since then, the space has been transformed into a lively community destination, Livat Hammersmith.

Cindy Andersen, MD, Ingka Centres, comments: “Today’s official opening of Livat Hammersmith is an exciting step on our journey in shaping next-generation meeting places that go far beyond shopping. We know that our visitors and the wider community want more spaces in which to meet, shop, live and work, which are fun, human and enable more sustainable living. Livat Hammersmith will offer just that. This new vibrant offer, designed to reflect modern, inner-city lifestyles with more regular visits and fewer journeys by car, provides a place where everyone feels welcome and is encouraged to come more often to explore amazing experiences while supporting the local community and the planet.”

Source: Furniture News