IKEA set to open first ever Sussex store: Everything you need to know
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Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group, has this week announced the freehold acquisition of Brighton’s main shopping centre, Churchill Square.
With the acquisition complete, IKEA UK, also part of the Ingka Group, confirms its plans to bring a brand-new IKEA City store to the site. It will be the 23rd IKEA store in the UK.
Peter Jelkeby, CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer at IKEA UK said: “We’re delighted to continue expanding and investing throughout the UK to make it easier and more sustainable for people to shop at IKEA. Sussex has long been an area of interest to us, and we really look forward to bringing IKEA closer to where our customers live, work and socialise and becoming a part of this vibrant community."
IKEA previously had plans for a store in Sussex. But it announced it would no longer progress with the planned development at New Monks Farm, off the A27 at Lancing, and intended to sell the land.
The new IKEA City store will open on the site of the former Debenhams and marks the latest phase of the retailer’s ‘ongoing omnichannel transformation’.
This, alongside new stores, is supported by investments in new services, the development of existing stores and ‘new fulfilment and delivery capabilities’; making it ‘easier and more sustainable to shop than ever before’.
An IKEA spokesperson added: “The new IKEA City store will offer a wide array of the brand's most loved products: approximately 6,000 on display with 3,000 available for immediate purchase, and the full range available for delivery via zero-emission vehicles. In-store planning services will support customers' kitchen, bedroom and bathroom planning needs, with a Swedish Deli also forming a part of the two-storey store; ensuring that the retailer’s iconic meatballs (and plant-based equivalent) will also be available.”
Churchill Square currently benefits from a ‘quality mix’ of flagship retail and dining options that has ‘traditionally attracted more than 11 million visitors annually’, IKEA said.
Ingka Centres has also acquired Chartwell Court, a residential tower block on the site, two attached car parks and a leasehold on a third car park.
The company intends to develop Churchill Square’s ‘strong retail fundamentals’ by adapting its retail offer to community needs and to invest in Churchill Square’s infrastructure to ‘play a part in supporting’ Brighton and Hove City Council’s drive to establish a ‘thriving local circular economy’.
Future investments will include ‘improvements to energy efficiency’ to bring the asset up to BREEAM ‘excellent standards’ while a wider roadmap of initiatives is planned to ‘reflect Ingka Centres global sustainability commitment’.
Cindy Andersen, Ingka Centres’ managing director, said: “Brighton is known as a welcoming and progressive city, so it is a real privilege to take up responsibility for delivering a revitalised meeting place of which the many people can be truly proud.
"We are excited to strengthen our portfolio with a well-established shopping destination in the heart of the vibrant and growing city of Brighton and Hove. It fits perfectly into our global expansion strategy, allowing us to transform a traditional retail space to a meeting place that is much more than just a place to shop.”
Churchill Square is located on the main shopping high street of Brighton and within walking distance of Brighton seafront and the main railway station.
The shopping centre is served by regular bus services and cycle lanes. The site benefits from three car parks where Ingka Centres ‘intends to extend’ the number of EV charging points, as well as encouraging the use of public transport to ‘reflect the new IKEA city centre offer which encourages home delivery’.
Ms Andersen continued: “We’ve proven in Hammersmith that traditional shopping centres have a strong future when they are adapted and constantly evolving to match the real needs of local communities. We’ll be working alongside our partners such as IKEA and the wider community to make everyday life better for the many people of Brighton, shaping and delivering an affordable, sustainable range of destination retail, restaurants, services and amenities.”