Ikea, the Swedish home furnishings giant, is planning to launch an assault on the UK high street, with a scheme costing an estimated £1bn.
The company has currently received planning permission in Coventry for a new store, which it hopes to be the first of ten new outlets to be opened across the UK. The scheme is likely to create around 10,000 new jobs over the next three years.
Peter Högsted, the head of Ikea UK, said that Ikea’s attempts to build out-of-town warehouses had been previously frustrated by UK planning restrictions so the company had decided to focus on building closer to city centres.
Last year, the company encountered planning problems and was forced to drop its plans to build a store in Greater Manchester after the scheme was rejected by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
Scott Cordrey, Ikea’s property manager, said: “We have traditionally expanded on the edge of town centres but in the last three or four years it has become increasingly difficult to get planning consent because of the government’s planning policy,”
Last month Ikea acquired planning permission to build the 30,000 sq m store in the middle of Coventry. Högsted said: “The Coventry decision is the framework for Ikea going forward.”