IKEA starts construction of Greenwich store

IKEA officially ‘broke ground’ on its new 32,000sq m store in the south London borough of Greenwich on December 4.

The branch represents the Swedish home furnishings giant’s first full-sized London store in 13 years. Due to open in winter 2018, IKEA is investing £100 million in the branch, which will be located on the Millennium Way Retail Park.

IKEA Greenwich will be the most sustainable IKEA store in the UK to date. Targeting a BREEAM ((Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘Excellent’ accreditation for sustainability, it will incorporate green technologies including photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting and greywater treatment (reducing water consumption by 50%) and renewable materials for construction. Wood will be used as a natural façade and the interior will feature lots of natural light throughout.

Several initiatives will be incorporated to make the store a ‘destination for healthy and sustainable living’. These include a furniture take-back scheme, as well as a dedicated 80sq m space to help support customers to re-use, recycle and re-imagine products that they already own. There will also be a 1,200sq m roof terrace open to the public with capacity for 500, a 240sq m roof pavilion and a biodiversity garden.

As well as offering free green space and communal relaxation areas for people to meet, share and learn, IKEA Greenwich will function as a community hub with bookable event areas and shared spaces for local groups, members of the public and co-workers to enjoy.

The product range will be geared towards specific needs for those in the local area. It will reflect London’s growing rental market, alongside solutions for small space living and those with little or no outdoor space.

IKEA Greenwich will also be easy to access via public transport. It will be serviced by six bus routes and up to 42 buses every hour, stopping just outside the store. IKEA is investing around £2 million in the local area including sustainable transport solutions. There will be cycle spaces and electric vehicle charging points too, available free of charge to customers.

Jane Bisset, IKEA Greenwich store manager, said: “Jane noted: “As the country’s leading sustainable store, IKEA Greenwich will offer a unique concept that will play a key role for our future stores in the UK. It will offer much more than a great shopping experience for customers and an enhanced working environment for co-workers. We believe the store will enable us to deepen relationships with a vibrant and diverse local community by providing great career opportunities and a range of multi-purpose spaces for them to enjoy.”

The store will create up to 500 jobs, including full and part-time roles in customer relations, sales and interior design. IKEA Greenwich will also be taking a completely new approach to recruitment when the main drive to fill vacancies begins in Spring 2018; the first six co-workers joining the store team will play a key role in recruiting their managers and team leaders.

The Greenwich store will be the 22nd IKEA store in the UK. Hege Saebjornsen, IKEA sustainability manager for the UK and IE, commented: “As we celebrate IKEA’s 30th anniversary in the UK, we are proud to mark the start of constructing our latest store in Greenwich. IKEA Greenwich will demonstrate our ongoing commitment to people and planet, alongside innovation in customer experience, and sets out a bold statement for the next 30 years.”

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