IKEA announces first major UK store closure

Employment & Skills | Midlands | Retail

Swedish retail giant IKEA has announced that it will close down its store in Coventry city centre this summer.

The firm revealed that the store had made continued losses since it opened in 2007, with fewer people visiting it than expected. IKEA said it would be speaking with the 352 workers affected by the announcement and would look to find them new jobs at other stores across the UK.

IKEA has 22 stores in the UK and also stated that they remained committed to growth in the UK.

An IKEA spokesperson said: “Given its location and the size of the land available at the time, the store was built over seven levels, which resulted in a significant impact on the operating costs of the store and the shopping experience for customers.

“In addition, the changing behaviour of customers in the area who prefer to shop in retail parks and online has resulted in visitor numbers being substantially lower than expected and continuing to decrease over time.”

Dave Gill, national officer for the Usdaw union, said: “Our priorities are to seek redeployment opportunities, minimise compulsory redundancies and secure the best deal we can for our members.”

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