Assemble-at-home furniture giant Ikea is setting up shop in the heart of the West End, buying the flagship site of failed high street fashion stalwart Topshop on Oxford Street.
The Financial Times reported that the Netherlands-based, Sweden-born flat-pack furniture specialist was paying £378m for the site on top of Oxford Circus tube station.
It was said that the company will use the space as another of its city-centre ‘design’ stores, featuring a selected range of furniture, as well as accessories and planning areas across seven floors.
The shop, which was owned by Sir Philip Green’s retail empire for decades before it fell into administration in 2020, had been pledged as security in an agreement with the UK Pension Regulator over the company’s defined benefit pension scheme in 2019.
Ikea has been moving away from its exclusively out-of-town big-box retail format in recent times, having operated a small showroom and ‘order point’ at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford for several years, and opening a ‘planning studio’ among the higher-end furniture names on Tottenham Court Road at the beginning of 2020.
Both of those locations had since closed, however the company will soon be unlocking the doors of a larger store spanning several levels above the Kings Mall shopping centre in Hammersmith, west London.
Ikea previously made moves to open on Oxford Street in 2015, having held early discussions to take over the ground floor of the former British Home Stores building to open a click-and-collect store, although that did not eventuate.
It currently operates four stores in the outer boroughs of London, in Croydon, Greenwich, Tottenham and Wembley, as well as Lakeside in Essex.