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Work commences on IKEA's Reading store

IKEA Reading artist impression

Ikea has begun construction on its first new UK store in seven years.

The Reading warehouse, which will be Ikea's 19th location in the UK, will create 350 jobs in the Berkshire area, including customer relations, sales, interior design, logistics and positions in the shop's restaurant, famous for its Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce.

The flatpack furniture giant opened its first UK store in Warrington in 1987.

The company recently announced plans to implement the living wage across its British workforce, which it said would affect half of its 9,000 employees in the UK.

Ikea, which traditionally operates from large warehouses outside of city centres that are most easily accessible by car, has also suggested that it could open smaller, more central UK stores, such as high street shops and order and collection points.

"As the first new store to be built in the UK in seven years, the start of work on the IKEA Reading store is a really important milestone for our expansion plans as we look to make IKEA more accessible to many more people," said Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK country retail manager.

Ms Drakeford cut the ribbon on construction of the 32,000 square metre site by ceremonially cementing a steel column at the entrance of the new store, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016.

Ikea has also invested £4m in improving the surrounding roads, including the creation of a new junction on the A4 that connects to its Calcot store.

Source : Lauren Davidson - The Telegraph
www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/11890486/Ikea-starts-building-its-first-UK-store-in-seven-years.html

28 September 2015

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