IKEA has announced the first big closure of one of its UK outlet stores. The furniture giant will be closing the IKEA in Coventry city centre this summer.
It will be the Swedish superstores first major closure in the UK. IKEA told the BBC that the decision was made after the store had continued to make ‘consistent losses’ since opening back in 2007.
IKEA in Coventry city centre closing down
IKEA stores are usually situated out-of-town. The Coventry store was part of a trial at a new format of the store in the city centre.
It was intended to meet customers’ changing needs. Sadly, it didn’t prove a success.
‘Given its location and the size of the land available at the time, the store was built over seven levels,’ IKEA explained to the BBC. ‘This resulted in a significant impact on the operating costs of the store and the shopping experience for customers.
‘In addition, the changing behaviour of customers in the area who prefer to shop in retail parks and online has resulted in visitor numbers being substantially lower than expected and continuing to decrease over time.’
352 workers will be directly affected, not to mention the number of customers from Coventry. Shoppers will now have to travel to Birmingham, Nottingham or Milton Keynes to get their IKEA fix.
One twitter lamented the news, saying it would have a huge impact on the cities ‘pulling power’.
‘Cov City centre is grim as it is. But, one of the only things that do draw people into the city over Leam, Birmingham for a shopping experience is IKEA – will have a big impact. Against a backdrop of City of Culture preparations, this is a dent to Coventry’s pulling power.’
However, don’t be alarmed, this is not the death toll for IKEA in Britain. IKEA has said that it remains committed to growth in the UK.
*Breathes sigh of relief*