IKEA opens 21st UK store
Home furnishings giant IKEA has opened its 21st UK store in Exeter. The shop has brought 370 new jobs to the city.
Spanning 29,000 square metres, the store features IKEA’s range of inspirational room sets along with a crèche, restaurant, bistro, and car park with over 1,000 spaces. It also includes new features such as the retailer’s first UK greenhouse to showcase outdoor living products.
Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK and Ireland country manager, said: “The opening of our 21st store in the UK is another significant step in our ambitious expansion plans. We are hugely excited to be bringing our retail offering to the South West as we aim to bring the IKEA brand and concept even closer to the many people.”
The store is IKEA’s most sustainable UK store to date and aims to achieve 100% renewable energy. It features a number of green technologies such as solar PV panels on the roof, rainwater harvesting and ground source heating. It also offers eight electric vehicle charging points and electric vans as part of its home delivery service.
The retailer celebrated the opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Drakeford and store manager Nick Earle. They were accompanied by Lord Mayor Cllr Lesley Robson, Cllr Peter Edwards, leader of Exeter City Council, Karime Hassan, chief executive of Exeter City Council, and local school children from Trinity CofE Primary school in Newcourt.
Over 85% of staff members at the store have been recruited locally from the Exeter and Devon area.
Prior to the store opening, IKEA’s Life at Home specialists conducted a number of home visits in Exeter and the surrounding area to learn more about how people in the region live. The findings were used to inform the design of the store’s roomsets.
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