The city centre store is part of the Swedish furniture giant’s plans to develop and trial new formats to bring it closer to more people living in the UK.
Ikea bought the run-down shopping centre two years ago, investing £170 million in purchasing and refurbishing the mall, which is now called Livat.
It comes ahead of Ikea’s highly-anticipated move onto Oxford Street next autumn. The furniture retailer bought Topshop’s former flagship store in the central location in October last year.
Ikea is known for its warehouse-style shopping centres, of which it has 47 globally, But Livat stands at 37,000 square metres, just over a third of the size of Ikea’s typical store size.
The Ikea outlet inside Livat is just a quarter of the size of a typical store and will offer 1,800 products for customers to buy, as well as 4,000 products on display to provide a “’life at home’ inspiration to Londoners”.
It will also be Ikea’s first cashless store in the UK and will feature only self-serve checkouts. A Swedish Deli allows customers to buy food for takeaway.
The mall is now fully let, with other tenants including Lidl, a social enterprise called Library of Things and Sook, a rent-by-the-hour space aimed at pop-ups.
Peter Jekelby, country retail manager and chief sustainability officer for Ikea UK and Ireland, said: “Over the next three years, we will continue to transform as we respond to [our customers’] needs and dreams, today and tomorrow.
“As one of the most innovative and exciting markets in the world for retail and e-commerce, we will step up our omnichannel investments in London with a simple goal: to become more customer-centric, so that people can shop with us for a better, more sustainable life at home, whenever, wherever and however they choose.”
London will serve as the retailer’s “test-bed” for trialling these new stores, with the goal of rolling them out across the UK and Ireland in the future.
Jekelby added: “Whilst London is the initial focus of our city-centre approach, our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people.
“All of our efforts centre on creating happy customers, and we will learn from our London approach, whilst continuing to develop plans for other city centre locations as well as the wider UK and Ireland, to bring our offer even closer.”
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