BY NEWS REPORTER
Five-hundred jobs are to be created as building work on the new Greenwich IKEA begins.
Due to open in late next year, IKEA says it will invest £100million in the new Greenwich store, which will be located on the Millennium Way Retail Park. They say the store will be the most sustainable store in the UK and easy to access by public transport.
Home furnishings retailer IKEA officially broke ground on the 32,000 sq metres store on Tuesday. It’s the company’s first London-based store built in 13 years.
IKEA Greenwich, store manager, Jane Bisset and IKEA sustainability manager for the UK and IE, Hege Saebjornsen were joined by Councillor Danny Thorpe, deputy leader of the council, and Cllr Peter Brooks, the Mayor of Greenwich council, in leading the groundbreaking ceremony for the new store.
Jane Bisset said, “I am delighted to be involved in such a landmark groundbreaking and look forward to bringing our home furnishings expertise and inspiration to the people of Greenwich.
“As the country’s leading sustainable store, IKEA Greenwich will offer a unique concept that will play a key role for our future stores in the UK.”
IKEA Greenwich will incorporate multiple green technologies including photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting and greywater treatment (reducing water consumption by 50 per cent) and renewable materials for construction. Wood will be used as a natural façade and the interior will feature lots of natural light throughout.
Alongside investment in sustainable construction and green technologies, a number of solutions will be incorporated to help customers live a more sustainable life at home. These include the IKEA furniture take-back scheme, as well as a dedicated 80 sq metres space to help support customers to re-use, recycle and re-imagine products that they already own.
There will also be a roof terrace which will be open to the public with capacity for 500, as well as a roof pavilion and biodiversity garden.
The store will also benefit from being highly accessible by public transport and will be serviced by six bus routes and up to 42 buses every hour, stopping just outside the store. IKEA is investing about £2million in the area including sustainable transport solutions.
All staffkers and visitors will be encouraged to take one of the many forms of transport serving the store including buses, trains, tubes and bicycles. There will also be cycle spaces and electric vehicle charging points available free of charge to customers.
The new store has been designed with the needs of customers, the community and IKEA co-workers in mind. Recognising that the way people work and live in London has changed, IKEA Greenwich will be geared towards specific needs for those in the local area.
The store’s product range will reflect London’s growing rental market, alongside solutions for small space living and those with little or no outdoor space.
As well as offering free green space and communal relaxation areas for people to meet, share and learn, IKEA Greenwich will function as a community hub with bookable event areas and shared spaces for local groups, members of the public and co-workers to enjoy.
Jane Bisset said: “Our new store will offer much more than a great shopping experience for customers and an enhanced working environment for co-workers.
“We believe the store will enable us to deepen relationships with a vibrant and diverse local community by providing great career opportunities and a range of multipurpose spaces for them to enjoy, including free green space.”