Ikea shelves plans to open London store – The London Free Press



Swedish furniture giant Ikea has quashed the hopes of London fans by delaying plans to open a full store in the city.

For many years the coming of Ikea was London’s most popular urban myth.

In 2015, there was partial victory as the chain opened up “pop-up” location in south London where customers could pick up orders.

That outlet proved popular and in 2017 Ikea announced it would open a full, 270,000-square-foot store at Wellington Road and Highway 401. Construction was supposed to begin in 2018, the company said at the time, with plans to share space with a relocated and expanded Costco outlet.

The new Ikea store was hailed by Mayor Matt Brown and the London Economic Development Corporation as a sign of the city’s economic growth.

But Ikea is now backtracking, saying the purchase of the land on the PenEquity site will move forward but construction of the London store have been delayed while the company studies “new solutions.”

“We still see potential in the London market, and will move forward with the purchase of the land for this development site as we begin exploring new solutions to better serve our London customers,” Ikea Canada spokesperson Kristin Newbigging said.

The company gave no specific reason for the delay but alluded to a “rapidly changing retail environment”, an apparent reference to the growth of online shopping.

“We are creating the IKEA of tomorrow. This includes exploring many new formats and touchpoints,” Newbigging said.

Costco officials could not be reached immediately on how Ikea’s delay could affect their plans.

The nearest Ikea is now in Burlington.

hdaniszewski@postmedia.com

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