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Ikea cancels store opening in landmark London location due to ‘unforeseen issue’

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Ikea has announced the cancellation of an opening of one its stores in a landmark London location.

The Swedish homeware retailer confirmed the opening of its Oxford Street shop has been postponed in order to fix leaks in the building’s basement.


This is the second time the proposed store has been forced to pushback its opening in a blow to the capital’s shoppers.

Prior to being earmarked as a future Ikea store, the Oxford Street shop was home to London’s flagship Topshop site.

The pending shop opening comes amid a series of store closures which have swept Britain’s high streets in recent years following the pandemic.

Analysis from PwC found there was a net of 14 store closures a day in 2023 with 5,000 fewer stores trading across the country.

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High streets have been hit by a wave of closures since the pandemic PA

However, Ikea’s apparent commitment to rolling out another store in one of the nation’s busiest high streets suggests is a welcome development for the economy.

Ingka Investment, the retail group’s investment, purchased the Grade II listed building at 214 Oxford Street after Topshop owner Arcadia fell into administration.

In 2012, work began on the site with the original plan being to open the location by autumn 2023.

However, Ikea revealed this store opening plan had now been pushed to autumn 2024 due to the scale of the refurbishment work required.

Yesterday, the furniture giant revealed the shop will not be opening in Spring 2025 due to the “hugely complex” renovation needed.

The brand confirmed work across all seven floors of the building, which will create the new Ikea store and four floors of office space, has seen “significant progress” in recent months.

However, Ikea admitted it had faced “unexpected conditions” during the refurb proccess.

The company recently found it had to address unforeseen issues on the lower of two basement levels to control a water leak.

Work is currently under way to address this issue but this had led to the store opening being delayed.

Peter van der Poel, managing director of Ingka Investments, said: “Ikea Oxford Street is a one-of-a-kind project, involving the sensitive and sustainable upgrade of a Grade II listed building that is over a hundred years old.

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“Following the discovery of an unforeseen water ingress issue, we’re now taking vital steps to mitigate long-term flood risk, and to protect and future-proof this historic building for many years to come.”

Peter Jelkeby, chief executive and chief sustainability officer of Ikea UK, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest and excitement generated around our Oxford Street opening.

“The historic nature of the building makes its careful renovation more complex, but we want to ensure Londoners that we’re just as excited to open the store as they are to visit it.

“We look forward to doing so in spring 2025 and contributing to a positive future for London’s most renowned shopping district.”

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