The Swedish giant Ikea will turn several floors of the huge Oxford Street site into a furniture store as part of a strategy to open inner-city outlets.The 239,000 sq ft retail and office space, on seven floors, also houses NikeTown and Vans, who stay as tenants.

Ikea noted that despite the growth of online sales, in person stores remain key.

Peter Jelkeby, retail manager of Ikea UK & Ireland, said that societies were seeing big changes in the way people live and shop, including soaring online sales and a desire for more local physical outlets.

Ikea is famous for its huge out-of-town warehouses. The brand has been trialling inner-city formats across Europe for more than two years. “Even though online shopping continues to accelerate at a rapid pace, our physical stores – large and small – will always be an essential part of the Ikea experience,” expressed Jelkeby.

“Bringing Ikea to the heart of Oxford Street is a direct response to these societal shifts and an exciting step forward in our journey to becoming more accessible,” He added.

The new store is planned to open in autumn 2023 and will focus on home-furnishing accessories, with the full range available to buy for home delivery.

The company opened its first inner-city outlet in Paris in 2019. It also has city centre sites in New York, Tokyo, and Madrid, with outlets planned for Vienna, Barcelona, Berlin and Prague. Ikea currently has 22 UK outlets.

A conditional purchase contract for the property is now signed, with the final details expected to be completed in January.

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