IKEA buys London shopping mall for £170m

IKEA has bought Hammersmith’s Kings Mall in west London for £170 million as part of a strategy to move closer to city centres.

The shopping centre opened in 1980 and has 40 stores, including H&M, Primark, Sainsbury’s and Wilko. The move marks the Swedish furniture chain’s first shopping centre purchase, following the October statement that it had strengthened its property team in the UK to capitalise on the decreased valuations of shopping centres due to retail store closures.

IKEA owns 44 malls worldwide via its Ingka Centres arm, but has built these itself rather than buying up existing centres.

The company is thought to be looking at further sites across the UK that are smaller and more accessible.

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

IKEA opened its first city centre store in the UK on central London’s Tottenham Court Road in 2018 and has since opened another in Bromley, south-east London.

Both are called ‘planning studios’, giving shoppers the opportunity to get advice on kitchen and bathroom renovation. The Hammersmith store, which will open in spring next year, will be larger, to accommodate for more than 2,000 home-furnishing accessories available to take away immediately.

Peter Jelkeby, country retail manager of IKEA UK and Ireland, added: “We continue to respond to people’s evolving shopping habits, making Ikea more convenient than ever before.”

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