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IKEA rumoured to be looking at Greater Manchester sites

Home furnishings giant Ikea has been checking out sites for a potential new store in Greater Manchester, the M.E.N. can reveal.

The firm opened its first UK store at Warrington in 1987 and has another in Ashton-under-Lyne.

The company says it ‘not currently considering’ another store in the region.

But the M.E.N. understands representatives from the company have been involved in talks over two sites - one in Manchester and another in Salford.

The Salford location is land next to the A J Bell Stadium, home of Salford Red Devils and Sale Sharks rugby teams at Barton.

The 42 acres surrounding the stadium is attracting major interest and one plot has been sold for £1m for a pub and restaurant by Greene King.

It is estimated the current value of the land is £25m.

One source said: “Ikea have been involved in advanced talks. The land in question is under Barton Bridge. Representatives from the company have taken helicopter flights above the site to check it out, but nothing has happened so far.

“Apparently their Warrington site is over capacity and they need to expand.”

Mark WaughNew Metrolink from Droylsden to Ashton-under-LyneIkea in Ashton
The land is part-owned by Salford council and Peel Holdings who want a big name non-food retailer on the site to trigger further interest as there is no planning permission for food retailers.

A new road is being constructed which will eventually link the site to the Trafford Centre.

Meanwhile the M.E.N. understands Ikea is in negotiations with a view to possibly taking over empty units next to Asda close to City’s Etihad Stadium at Beswick.

It is understood talks were taking place last month regarding the Manchester site.

In a statement Ikea said: “In the ever-changing, fast-paced retail environment, we want to provide our customers with a more simple convenient and enjoyable shopping experience both online and in-store.

"As such, we are reviewing our expansion strategy on an ongoing basis.

“This includes the rebuilding and adaptation of our stores to better serve their local customers, developing our multi-channel offer and choosing new Ikea locations.

"We are not currently considering another store in Manchester. However, customers in this area can continue to purchase Ikea products online.”

Salford council declined to comment.

A senior source at Manchester council said it would welcome the development.

Source : Neil Kealing - Manchester Evening News

10 December 2014

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