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Ikea delays opening of its flagship Oxford Street store AGAIN in order to fix its leaky basement – in a fresh blow to high-end London shopping district

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  •  Work started on the site in 2022, with original plans to open by autumn 2023

Ikea has pushed back opening its new Oxford Street store to fix the leaky basement in the building.

It is the second time the proposed store, which was previously home to Topshop’s flagship London site, has seen its opening delayed.

Ingka Investment, the investment arm of the retail group, bought the Grade II listed building at 214 Oxford Street after Topshop owner Arcadia fell into administration.

Work started on the site in 2022, with original plans to open the location by autumn 2023.

But last year it revealed this opening plan had now been pushed to autumn 2024 due to the scale of refurbishment work.

Ingka Investment, the investment arm of the retail group, bought the Grade II listed building at 214 Oxford Street after Topshop owner Arcadia fell into administration. Pictured, the site of the proposed Oxford Street store

Ikea said it recently discovered the need for unforeseen additional work on the lower of two basement levels to control a water leak

Ikea said it recently discovered the need for unforeseen additional work on the lower of two basement levels to control a water leak

On Friday, the Swedish furniture and homeware giant said the shop will not be opening in Spring 2025 due to the ‘hugely complex’ nature of the renovation.

It said work across all seven floors of the building – which will create a new Ikea store and four floors of office space – has seen ‘significant progress’ but faced ‘unexpected conditions’ during the process.

Ikea said it recently discovered the need for unforeseen additional work on the lower of two basement levels to control a water leak. Work on this is currently underway.

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.

‘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.’

Oxford Street was once revered on the global stage, with its shopping opportunities being compared with the likes of Paris and New York but the shift to online shopping and the impact of the pandemic have left the street a shell of its former self.

Oxford Street has been overrun in recent years by tacky sweet shops that have replaced household names. Pictured, a large installation representing a Frakta bag is unveiled as Ikea prepares for its 2024 debut on Oxford Street in London

Oxford Street has been overrun in recent years by tacky sweet shops that have replaced household names. Pictured, a large installation representing a Frakta bag is unveiled as Ikea prepares for its 2024 debut on Oxford Street in London 

It was once the flagship location for Britain’s high end stores but over the years big brands have started to abandon the hub, making it one of the biggest victims of the slow death of UK high streets.

Things were worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, plunging more iconic brands into administration and as a result closing their doors.

Other industry experts warned the demise of Oxford Street could spell an end for all British high streets which risk collapsing into ‘wastelands’ unless there are major regeneration efforts

Oxford Street has been overrun in recent years by tacky sweet shops that have replaced household names.

As big names such as Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, Oasis and Warehouse disappeared, city centres across the country were left with empty windows and people instead searching for their favourite labels online.

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