Ikea has re-emerged on Britain’s high streets with the launch of a new extra-small store format, featuring its first food-to-go operation called Swedish Deli in Hammersmith, west London.
The new Ikea store is around a quarter of the size of its average out-of-town warehouse store and will offer 1,800 to 2,200 products to carry away, with a further 4,000 to 5,000 products on display that can be ordered for home delivery, with the option of in-home assembly.
Opening today (24 February) inside Hammersmith’s Kings Mall shopping centre, which was bought by Ikea franchisee Ingka Centre in 2020 and rebranded as Livat, the store is set for opening hours of 9am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sundays. However, its Swedish Deli will open slightly earlier to cater for the morning rush.
The Swedish Deli will offer a range of wraps, hot and cold drinks as well as pastries, ambient and frozen goods. Meanwhile, an on-site café will sell the brand’s famous meatballs as well as other hot meals with the option to eat in or take away.
Opening a store in a mall location was a move in recognition of the fact that fewer of its customers are driving, said Ikea. “It’s the first store of its kind in the UK and the eighth of this kind of extra-small store in the world,” said the store’s general manager Pritesh Patel.
“It’s everything you can do in a larger store but this is situated in a convenient way so it’s easy to get to us by tube or bus, and then you don’t need to take your goods home with you. The biggest item we sell to take away now is a coffee table – the general rule of thumb is that if it won’t fit in one of our yellow bags, it’s delivery only.”
The Hammersmith store features only self-service checkouts on its main shop floors and the café will only accept cashless payments, though the deli will feature a manned till. It will also run experience days such as cooking classes from its display kitchens, kids’ treasure hunts and crafting workshops in a bid to entice customers.
Ikea UK & Ireland’s country retail manager and chief sustainability officer Peter Jelkeby added: “While 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.”
The Swedish furniture giant had previously withdrawn from city centre locations, closing its full-size Coventry store in 2020 and calling time on its trial of a Birmingham-based order and collection point in 2018 after two years of operation.