Ikea parent snaps up west London shopping centre for £170m

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Ikea will open its first inner-city store in London in 2021. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP

Swedish retail giant Ikea will open its first inner-city store in the UK in 2021 after its parent company snapped up a west London shopping mall for £170m ($222m).

Ingka Centres, the real estate division of Ikea parent Ingka Group, announced on Thursday that it had acquired Kings Mall in Hammersmith.

Ikea said that its decision to open a smaller store reflects “changing shopping habits and the rise in urbanisation”, and comes as part of a global plan to open more small-format stores.

“People have been eager to see our affordable range and access our life at home expertise on the high street for some time, so we’re excited to introduce a unique Ikea store to the vibrant local community in Hammersmith and London,” said Peter Jelkeby, the retail manager of Ikea UK and Ireland.

Ikea already operates two small “planning stores” in London — one on Tottenham Court Road and another in Bromley — where customers can get kitchen and bedroom inspiration as well as home furnishing advice as part of a showroom-like experience.

The store in Hammersmith, although similarly small in format, will more closely resemble its larger outlets, but will also focus on home-furnishing offerings.

Ikea already operates such smaller-format stores in Paris and Moscow.

Ingka Centres said that, overall, it will invest £170m in the purchase and redevelopment of the shopping centre, and that it would work with the local Hammersmith community to regenerate Kings Street, where the centre is located.

“Our urban projects are all about getting closer to more people,” said Gerard Groener, the managing director of Ingka Centres.

“More of our customers are living in cities than ever before, and a regenerated Kings Mall will be an ideal location for reaching millions of Londoners,” he said.

Ingka Centres acquired the centre from Schroders, an asset management firm. Schroders had purchased the site and a nearby office building for around £150m in 2015.

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