Ikea UK celebrated the opening of its leading sustainable store in Greenwich yesterday. The store forms part of Ikea’s ongoing city centre approach in London as it responds to the growth of urban living, the shift to a circular economy and changes to the way people live and shop.
Located on the Millennium Way Retail Park, the 32,000 square metre store is the retailer’s first full-sized Ikea to open in London in 14 years and has been designed as a place for Londoners to meet, share, learn and shop.
The doors to Ikea Greenwich officially opened to the public at 10am yesterday following a ribbon cutting ceremony by Helen Aylett, Ikea Greenwich store manager, Hege Sæbjørnsen, country sustainability manager, Ikea UK & Ireland and Claire Pritchard, chief executive at the store’s local partner, Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency (GCDA).
IKEA Greenwich attracted fans from across London and the local community, who began queueing as early as 6am this morning, enjoying delicious, sustainable smoothies and music from a junk band playing instruments made from recycled materials.
Helen Aylett, store manager at Ikea Greenwich, said: “We’re thrilled to open the doors to our new store in Greenwich. IKEA Greenwich aims to take sustainability to the next level, not just in its design and architecture, but by inspiring and enabling Londoners to live a more sustainable life at home through our products, workshops and activities. The store has been built with the local community in mind and provides a number of flexible spaces and facilities which people can use for free, such as a roof pavilion and community garden.”
Ikea Greenwich is the 22nd full-sized Ikea store to open in the UK. In addition to the rooftop garden and pavilion, the new store features a Learning Lab – a dedicated space for customers, partners and the local community to explore prolonging the life of products, upcycling, reducing waste and growing their own food. The store also incorporates a number of renewable construction materials and green technologies including solar panels, rainwater harvesting, geothermal heating and 100% LED lighting. Ikea Greenwich is aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy and is targeting BREEAM* ‘Outstanding’ accreditation.
The store is highly accessible by public transport, making travelling sustainably an easy and convenient option. In addition to tube and rail links, up to 50 buses pass by or near to the store every hour. A wide choice of affordable delivery options is also available, from 24-hour delivery for those living within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, to a Zedify bike courier service and Hertz EV van hire. For the first ten weeks after opening, the store has also introduced a special offer on home delivery for people living within 40-minutes of the store by public transport.
Helen continues: “We know that choice, convenience, value and speed are key, and most people like to go shopping without the hassle of having to get everything back home. Instead of bringing their cars, we’re encouraging our customers to simply bring their keys, phone and wallet and we’ll sort out the rest.”
IKEA is committed to being a good neighbour and a true partner in the local community. Over 500 new jobs have been created at IKEA Greenwich, with more than half of all co-workers recruited from the local area. As well as sponsoring a local ecology park, the store has partnered with GCDA to promote healthy and sustainable living across Greenwich communities and is working with three schools to share expertise through its unique Live LAGOM programme.
“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at IKEA and moving to a circular economy is essential if we are to continue to meet people’s needs and dreams while staying within the limits of the planet,” said Hege Sæbjørnsen, Country sustainability manager, Ikea UK & Ireland.
“In partnership with our customers and the communities around our stores, we want to be a positive force for change and make a significant difference, both today and for generations to come. IKEA Greenwich is a leading example of circular retail in London and reflects our commitment to make sustainable lifestyles easy and affordable, while also supporting customers to reuse, recycle or refresh their products.”
The opening of IKEA Greenwich is the next step in Ikea UK’s ongoing city-centre approach, starting with London. In addition to Ikea 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.