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Latest full-size IKEA store opens in Greenwich

IKEA has opened its first full-sized London store for 14 years, in the shape of a new sustainable branch in Greenwich.

The retailer describes the store as a ‘beacon of sustainability’ for the brand in the UK. The retailer’s in-house design team worked with SRA Architects to create a store designed to have a positive impact on the environment, and to promote healthy and sustainable living.

The store’s location at the Millennium Way Retail Park, on the Greenwich Peninsula, has been chosen to be easily accessible by public transport. The store offers a range of delivery options – including Zedify bike couriers and Hertz EV van hire - to help customers shop without using their cars. The store also offers electric car charging points and covered cycle parking.

Measuring 32,000 sq m (344,445 sq ft), the store is intended to be place where Londoners can meet, share, learn and shop, according to IKEA.

IKEA Greenwich store manager Helen Aylett says, “The unique design of our new store in Greenwich recognises and positively responds to the distinct setting of the Greenwich Peninsula. The appearance of the store has been re-invented to provide better visual and physical connections with the surrounding area, whilst remaining true to the blue and yellow identity which is synonymous with the IKEA brand.

“The use of timber is a reference to both a key material used in the design of our products and Greenwich’s maritime heritage. The enhanced use of glazing allows far more natural light into the store, providing an even better shopping experience for our customers.”

A number of new features have been introduced to the store, which is the 22nd full-sized Ikea branch in the UK. These include a Learning Lab, which is a dedicated space for customers, partners, and the local community to explore ways to prolong the life of products, upcycle items, reduce waste, and grow their own food. There is also a roof pavilion and garden.

“The roof pavilion has been developed to work seamlessly with the roof garden, providing an exciting and unique space for the people of Greenwich. The pavilion has been designed as a flexible space that is able to adapt to changing store patterns and needs of the community; for example, it can be used as a meeting or conference room, or as an event venue that can open up to fully integrate the wider roof garden. Sliding glass partitions provide free movement between the pavilion and garden areas,” says Aylett.

“We want to enable and inspire our customers to live a better everyday life at home and we firmly believe that a better life at home, is a sustainable and healthy life at home. IKEA Greenwich will be centred around people to ensure it is the most sustainable store in the UK and an integral part of the local community. Designed as a place to ‘meet, share, learn and shop,’ we will offer a unique programme of events where customers can learn how to prolong the life of products, grow food, upcycle and enhance their homes.” 

The new store incorporates a range of green technologies, including solar panels, rainwater harvesting, geothermal heating, and 100 per cent LED lighting. IKEA is seeking an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM certification for the building.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at IKEA and moving to a circular economy is essential if we are to continue to meet people’s needs and dreams while staying within the limits of the planet,” says IKEA UK & Ireland country sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen.

“In partnership with our customers and the communities around our stores, we want to be a positive force for change and make a significant difference, both today and for generations to come. IKEA Greenwich is a leading example of circular retail in London and reflects our commitment to make sustainable lifestyles easy and affordable, while also supporting customers to reuse, recycle or refresh their products.”

As well as the new full-size store, IKEA is to continue its strategy of rolling out smaller branches. It will open a second Planning Studio branch on Bromley High Street this year, following an initial branch on Tottenham Court Road opening in 2018.