It’s about to become the new home of one very popular homeware brand…
The flagship Topshop store on Oxford Street was something of a rite of passage for any teenager or young adult in the noughties.
Several floors filled top to bottom with racks of to-die-for clothes you couldn’t afford, plus beauty stations and shoe concessions galore, it was a focal part of every trip to London. Which is why, when it was announced in January this year that ‘The Big Topshop’ was closing its doors for the final time and being sold off, there was a resounding sadness. Parent company Arcadia had gone into administration; it was the end of an era.
But we’ve got BIG news for anyone who’s still emotionally invested in that huge retail space on Oxford Street: it’s been bought. And just wait until you find out who by…
Very excitingly, Ikea is the proud new owner of the old Topshop flagship store. The Swedish furniture company is believed to have paid a whopping £378 million for the long lease of the 9,290 sq metre (100,000 sq ft) space, which not only includes the old Topshop store, but also the space previously used by Nike and Vans. In summary, it’s going to be massive.
The plan for the space is that it will have a focus on home-furnishing accessories like lamps, cushions and curtains as opposed to the more heavy-duty furniture you can pick up in its current stores, which tend to be a bit less central to cities. But don’t panic: there will very much be an abundance of room sets on display, which is basically why we go, right?
The full range of furniture will also be available for shoppers to buy from the shop for home delivery, because nobody’s going to be able to carry a flat-packed Billy Bookcase on the bus out of London, let’s get real.
Oh, and because we know you were wondering: yes, there will be a café serving Ikea’s famous Swedish meatballs. We’re pretty confident that’ll be a draw for customers in itself.
It seems this new type of Ikea store – less industrial estate, more city-centre location – is part of a wider plan for the company. Peter Jelkeby, head of Ikea’s UK and Ireland business, said it was on the hunt for big spaces in city centres as it’s keen to access a broader range of people. “Even though online shopping continues to accelerate at a rapid pace, our physical stores, large and small, will always be an essential part of the Ikea experience – as places for inspiration and expertise, community and engagement,” the Guardian reports Jelkelby said.
“Bringing Ikea to the heart of Oxford Street – one of the most innovative, dynamic and exciting retail destinations in the world – is a direct response to these societal shifts.”
The new Ikea megastore is scheduled for opening in autumn 2023, after the deal will be finalised in January 2022. Can. Not. Wait.
So, do we think London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan will allow the building to be splashed with Ikea’s famous yellow and blue, or..?
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