Ingka Centres, a division of the Ingka Group, has officially completed the purchase of Churchill Square in Brighton. This acquisition paves the way for IKEA UK, also under the Ingka Group umbrella, to establish a new IKEA City store at this location.
The forthcoming IKEA City store, which will take the place of the previous Debenhams, represents a significant step in the retailer’s wider strategy to enhance its omnichannel presence. This strategy encompasses the opening of new stores and the enhancement of existing ones, as well as advancements in service offerings and delivery and fulfilment operations. The goal is to provide a more convenient and eco-friendly shopping experience.
At this new location, customers will find a vast selection of IKEA’s most popular products, with around 6,000 items on display. Of these, 3,000 will be available for immediate takeaway, while the complete range can be ordered for delivery, with the promise of zero-emission transport. Additionally, the store will offer planning services for kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms. A highlight for many will be the inclusion of a Swedish Deli within the two-storey establishment, featuring IKEA’s famous meatballs and their plant-based alternatives.
Peter Jelkeby, IKEA UK & Ireland’s Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “We’re delighted to continue expanding and investing throughout the UK to make it easier and more sustainable for people to shop at IKEA. Sussex has long been an area of interest to us, and we really look forward to bringing IKEA closer to where our customers live, work and socialise and becoming a part of this vibrant community.”
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Churchill Square has long been a hub of retail and dining, drawing in over 11 million visitors each year. It boasts a variety of flagship stores and dining options, including brands like Inditex, Apple, and Levi’s, and features a food court with popular outlets such as McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme. Ingka Centres’ acquisition extends beyond the shopping centre to include Chartwell Court, a residential tower, two car parks owned outright, and a leasehold on a third.
Ingka Centres aims to enhance Churchill Square by tailoring its retail offerings to the community’s needs. This effort is part of a broader initiative to support Brighton and Hove City Council’s ambitions for a thriving local circular economy. Planned investments will focus on improving the centre’s energy efficiency to achieve BREEAM excellent standards. This is in line with Ingka Centres’ global commitment to sustainability, which includes a comprehensive range of environmental initiatives.
Cindy Andersen, Managing Director of Ingka Centres, said: “Brighton is known as a welcoming and progressive city, so it is a real privilege to take up responsibility for delivering a revitalised meeting place of which the many people can be truly proud. We are excited to strengthen our portfolio with a well-established shopping destination in the heart of the vibrant and growing city of Brighton and Hove. It fits perfectly into our global expansion strategy, allowing us to transform a traditional retail space to a meeting place that is much more than just a place to shop.”
Churchill Square’s prime location in Brighton, coupled with its proximity to the seafront and major transportation links, enhances its appeal. The centre is well-served by public transport and offers cycling facilities, aligning with IKEA’s city centre model which promotes home delivery. Future plans include expanding electric vehicle charging facilities and encouraging the use of public transport.
Andersen continued: “We’ve proven in Hammersmith that traditional shopping centres have a strong future when they are adapted and constantly evolving to match the real needs of local communities. We’ll be working alongside our partners such as IKEA and the wider community to make everyday life better for the many people of Brighton, shaping and delivering an affordable, sustainable range of destination retail, restaurants, services and amenities.”