Ikea considering opening Oxford Street store

Home furnishings giant Ikea is considering opening a click and collect store in the BHS building on London’s Oxford Street.

The Swedish company has recently opened a small shop in Norwich to test the British public’s appetite for such outlets. It has a smaller ‘Marketplace’ and does not carry the full product range that can be found in the chain’s giant stores elsewhere in the UK, as well as a limited range of foodstuffs from the Swedish Food Market. Instead it has wifi in its restaurant, where people may for example browse Ikea’s website to make purchases. They then have the opportunity to collect the goods at a ‘click and collect’ point in this shop, though not for goods bought online that day.

A new store of a similar size to that in Norwich is being opened in Aberdeen early in 2016 while the company assesses whether customers will take to the format as readily as they have the giant shops elsewhere around the UK.

Currently Ikea.co.uk does deliver goods to customers for a fee, but at a cost of as much as £30 this can be off putting. The idea of a reduced fee being charged, if at all, for a click and collect service at a shop that’s much closer to the customer’s home may well get around this issue. Currently one of its main rivals Argos has 800 small stores around the UK as well as its website and can deliver goods for a much lower price.

Industry insiders are watching with interest to see if Ikea does open an Oxford Street branch, though some point out that it will be quite difficult popping out of the office to collect a Billy bookcase at lunchtime and then carrying it on the Tube home. Instead, customers are more likely to buy much smaller goods.