Ikea buys former Topshop Oxford Circus store in London

Furniture group hails £378m purchase as long-term vote of confidence in UK retail

Ikea is paying £378 million (€448 million) for 214 Oxford Street in London

Ikea is paying £378 million (€448 million) for 214 Oxford Street in London

 

Ikea is buying the former flagship Topshop store on Oxford Circus for its latest city-centre shop in what the world’s largest furniture group branded a long-term vote of confidence in retail in London and the UK.

The group is paying £378 million (€448 million) for 214 Oxford Street and will have its own store with accessories, some furniture and planning studios in about a third of the 22,200 sq m space over seven floors.

“This is a top, top location and we very much believe in London and the UK in the long, long term . . . The UK is also interesting after Brexit. In the long run, we think it’s going to land in a good way here,” Krister Mattsson, managing director of Ingka Investments, the arm of Ikea buying the property, told the Financial Times.

A string of brands that once dominated Oxford Street have fallen victim to Covid-19, clearing space on London’s most famous shopping street for a new type of occupier.

Ikea is increasingly moving away from only having big-box stores on the outskirts of big cities and is experimenting with different types of city-centre outlets from kitchen-planning studios and click-and-collect points to locations holding thousands of different products such as one in Paris.

Long-term tenants

Its Oxford Circus store will not open until 2023 but will follow one in Hammersmith due to open in the next few months. The Oxford Street shop will have click-and-collect as well as click-and-deliver functions and planning studios, typically for kitchens and wardrobes, according to Mr Mattsson. Long-term tenants including Nike and Vans will continue their operations in the building.

Mr Mattsson said that despite a “quite dramatic increase” in online sales at Ikea, which rose from 7 per cent of total revenues in 2019 to 30 per cent this year, “we are still very linked to our bricks and mortar”, stressing that shops were where customers could see the full product range and gain inspiration.

“We will not switch too much into ecommerce. Oxford Street is much more accessible and is [a] way to widen the opportunities of customers to meet Ikea retail,” he added. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2021