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IKEA opens its first ‘refurbished’ city center shopping mall in London

IKEA opens its first ‘refurbished’ city center shopping mall in London

Swedish furniture behemoth, IKEA, will reportedly be opening its first city center shopping mall in the world, called Livat, in west London, UK, which is also the first mall to be refurnished instead of being built from scratch.

Livat, which is the former Kings Mall, was bought two years ago bought by IKEA's parent company, Ingka Group, and is not only the first of its kind store for UK but also a third of its typical store size at 37,000 sqm.

The mall, which has now been fully let, will house IKEA’s only high street store in the country, which will be a quarter of the typical size of its store. New tenants in the mall also include Lidl, the German discount store, Library of Things, a social enterprise started in London, and Sook, a space that can be rented by the hour for retail or events.

Cindy Andersen, Managing Director of Ingka Centres, the property arm of Ingka Group, stated that Livat is the first step in the group’s journey of developing more city center sites, adding that it was the perfect opportunity to refurbish an existing location and add new energy to the place.

IKEA has spent £170 million ($228 million) in buying and redeveloping the mall, and will also house a small market hall for local food pop-ups, along with two cafes and the company’s own Swedish Deli.

Peter Jelkeby, the CEO and CSO of IKEA UK, stated that the retailer is looking into a range of opportunities in order to fill the gaps and make the store more accessible to London shoppers and their changing habits, adding that over 44% of its sale in the UK was through online last year.

Jelkeby stated that while there was a slowdown in ‘extreme’ demand for products like office chairs or desks due to the pandemic, IKEA still expected that the furniture market will continue growing.

IKEA expects that there will be a 10-11% price inflation this year in UK and Ireland, as some products have already risen by 50%.

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