IKEA Greenwich – a bold step change for sustainability and community-based retail
IKEA UK’s Matt Maguire writes to make the opening of the company's 22nd UK store today in Greenwich, which has also been built to the highest sustainability rating.
When it opens its doors today, Greenwich will be IKEA UK’s leading sustainable store. Greenwich will be the first large IKEA store to open in London in 14 years and has been designed as a place for Londoners to meet, share, learn and shop. It is the 22nd IKEA store to open in the UK.
Having been designed with the community in mind, the beautiful new building looks different to many other IKEA stores, with its use of timber, seeded roof and terrace pavilion with views across London. It has also been built to the highest sustainability rating and if it reaches BREEAM ‘outstanding’, it will be the first retail outlet in the UK to do so.
It’s not just the building which makes IKEA Greenwich different. Inside, there’s a huge amount of natural light and the store includes a range of flexible spaces, like the greenhouse and entrance cafés, where people can meet, work and connect, as well as other features, such as working demonstration kitchens to help the people of Greenwich live a healthier, more sustainable life.
The most innovative new space is our first Learning Lab, a dedicated facility, where customers can develop the skills to upcycle, repair, personalise and prolong the life of products, grow their own food and support the move to a circular economy and a fully-circular business.
In another first for IKEA, this is a store that doesn’t rely on the car to be accessible, in fact we don’t believe that customers will require their car at all. The store is highly accessible by public transport, making travelling sustainably easy and convenient. In addition to tube and rail links, up to 50 buses pass the store every hour. And to supplement this, a wide choice of affordable delivery options are available, from 24-hour delivery for those living within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, to a Zedify electric bike courier service and Hertz EV van hire.
Over 500 new jobs have been created at IKEA Greenwich, with more 50% of all co-workers recruited from Greenwich itself and others from the surrounding areas. The co-workers are the embodiment of our IKEA values and are eager to meet and interact with the local community when the store opens.
As well as sponsoring the local ecology park, the store has also partnered with Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency (GCDA) to promote healthy and sustainable living across Greenwich communities and is working with three local schools to share expertise through our unique Live LAGOM programme.
Recognising and responding to a changing world and retail landscape, the opening of IKEA Greenwich is the next step in IKEA UK’s ongoing city-centre approach, starting with London. In addition to Greenwich and existing full-sized London stores in Wembley, Tottenham, Croydon and Lakeside, IKEA opened its first ever Planning Studio on Tottenham Court Road in October 2018 and will open a further one on Bromley High Street in spring 2019.