Ikea to CLOSE its Tottenham superstore putting 450 jobs at risk

Ikea is to close its Tottenham superstore, putting 450 jobs at risk, as the Swedish furniture retailer plans to open a mini shop on Oxford Street’s Topshop site.

The retailer said the decision comes as part of its overhaul of London stores and follows the opening of its first smaller format site in Hammersmith last month – around a quarter of the size of its traditional stores. 

Ikea plans to follow with a similar store in Oxford Circus by autumn 2023 after purchasing the Topshop flagship shop for £378 million – part of efforts to increase its high street presence.   

The Swedish furniture giants are also opening a new fulfilment centre in Dartford, Kent, in December later this year, allowing it to provide a 24-hour delivery service across the capital.

It was not immediately clear when the Tottenham store would close, but bosses have said they hope to find positions elsewhere in the capital for the site’s 450 workers. 

The closure follows an ‘extensive assessment’ of its UK stores ‘in line with changing shopping behaviours’.

Last year, online sales represented half of Ikea’s total purchases amid increasing demand for different services and a desire for accelerated deliveries.

The retailer is now entering a consultation period with the 450 employees affected by the closure of the Tottenham store, but claims it is ‘committed to retaining as many as possible’.

The Ikea store in Tottenham, north London, is to close as the retailer plans to open a mini store in Oxford Street

Pritesh Patel, Hammersmith store manager and Natalia Petelina, Livat Hammersmith meeting place manager, cut the ribbon to officially open Ikea Hammersmith on February 24

Pritesh Patel, Hammersmith store manager and Natalia Petelina, Livat Hammersmith meeting place manager, cut the ribbon to officially open Ikea Hammersmith on February 24

More than 600 vacancies will be created in London before the proposed closure, a statement added, priority for which will be given to the employees.    

Peter Jelkeby, Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA UK & Ireland said: ‘Taking care of our co-workers is our highest priority and we will lead with respect and compassion throughout the process. 

‘The decision to propose closing the Tottenham store has not been taken lightly but we believe it is the right thing to do for our customers and business as we strengthen our position for the future. 

‘We will do everything we can to support the co-workers affected and our hope is that as many as possible will continue their career journey with us.’ 

The Tottenham store will remain open with normal opening hours until further notice.

Plans to open a smaller store follows the grand opening of a mini shop in Hammersmith, west London, last month.

The Hammersmith store, which opened on February 24, is around one quarter of the size of a traditional Ikea site, with 4,000 product lines on display and 1,800 available to take away on the same day.

The shop, set across two floors, focuses on home accessories and soft furnishings, while larger furniture items will are display and can be ordered for home delivery or delivery to nearby collection points. 

It also features a Swedish delicatessen serving hot and cold traditional delicacies for dine-in and takeaway, including Smorrebrod open sandwiches, Nordic Chicken Caesar and Swedish Mazarin, a popular type of tart.

There are also variations of Ikea’s traditional meatballs, including plant balls. The deli – located on the edge of the site – opens an hour earlier than the main store, to allow commuters to ‘grab and go’. 

In October last year, Ikea agreed to buy the iconic former flagship store of fashion chain Topshop in Oxford Circus from the administrators of bankrupt owner Arcadia Group, as part of its push to open inner-city outlets.

Krister Mattson, head of the investment arm of Ingka Group which owns most Ikea stores, said at the time that three floors of the Oxford Street building would be turned into an Ikea store due to open in the summer or autumn of 2023. 

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