Ikea Tottenham to shut in closure set to affect 450 jobs as it opens new stores elsewhere in London
Retail giant Ikea will close its major Tottenham store, in a decision affecting 450 jobs.
The Swedish retailer said the move is part of longer-term plans for London, which includes opening more small format stores.
Bosses said they would try and ensure the 450 staff will be offered positions elsewhere, pointing out they are creating 600 jobs in London before the store closes.
They also said the changing nature of the area and more shoppers turning online during the pandemic meant its long-term viability was under threat.
"Last year, online represented almost half of the retailers’ total sales and the demand for different services as well as convenient deliveries accelerated," Ikea said in a statement.
"This, combined with the redevelopment of the area where the store is located, prompted the retailer to assess the long-term viability of the site."
Ikea’s Tottenham store first opened its doors in 2005 and faced ugly scenes as a midnight opening descended into violence
Around 6,000 shoppers came to the store with the promise of time-limited bargains but fights broke out, cars were abandoned and customers suffered in heavy crushes
Six people were taken to hospital, including a man in his 20s who was stabbed nearby
Ikea said the closure was part of its £1 billion investment strategy in London, including the recent opening of a smaller store format in Hammersmith, west London.
The retailer also plans to open a store inside the former Topshop building on Oxford Street, making its debut in London’s West End.
Ikea said it was “committed to retaining the affected co-workers through the hundreds of jobs created across London as part of their ongoing transformation”.
Ikea will also open a new fulfilment centre in Dartford in December.
Bosses will launch a period of collective consultation with the 450 co-workers affected by this proposal.
Peter Jelkeby, Ikea’s UK and Ireland boss, said: “Taking care of our co-workers is our highest priority and we will lead with respect and compassion throughout the process.
“The decision to propose closing the Tottenham store has not been taken lightly but we believe it is the right thing to do for our customers and business as we strengthen our position for the future.
“We will do everything we can to support the co-workers affected and our hope is that as many as possible will continue their career journey with us.”
Ikea did not have a firm date for the closure but said it expects it to be by the end of the year.