Even Ikea is having a hard time in the declining British market: in Coventry, in the centre of England, Ikea is forced to permanently close its store. 352 employees lose their jobs.
The British high streets had a disastrous 2019, and even home decoration giant Ikea was unable to escape it. In Coventry, the chain is to close its store that had opened in the city centre in 2007. The fate of the store's 352 employees will be the subject of negotiations in the near future: the Swedish retailer itself has said that it wants to keep as many people as possible within the company.
The store in Coventry suffered from disappointing numbers of visitors, with consumers apparently preferring to shop online or in retail parks outside of the city centre. As the Coventry store covers no fewer than seven floors, it also has high operating costs and causes Ikea to record accumulated losses.
It is the first measure in a series of announced savings in the troubled British market, where Ikea has 22 stores. The closure is noteworthy since Ikea is increasingly focusing on inner city branches rather than branches in retail parks outside of the city. In Norway, the Swedish chain has also had to close city centre stores.
Still, Ikea does not want to give up on the British market: it says the solution could be found in smaller city centre stores and showrooms in large cities. For example, the chain opened two planning studios in London last year, where consumers can book a consultation for advice; and the holding company also bought a shopping mall in West London where it is set to open a small-format city store.