IKEA has announced that it plans to close its Coventry store later this year putting around 350 jobs at risk.
IKEA’s Coventry store, one of 22 IKEA stores in the UK, was built in 2007 in the city centre. The store is set out over seven levels
In a statement released on Tuesday (February 4) IKEA said that the plans to close the store has been influenced by operating costs, the change in shopper's behaviour and online shopping, which has 'resulted in visitor numbers being substantially lower than expected and continuing to decrease over time'.
IKEA said that these factors have led to the store making consistent losses.
In the statement it also stated that 'the retailer has tried a number of initiatives over the years to drive sales growth and make the store more cost efficient, such as moving various business operations to the site, however these have not resolved the fundamental challenges connected to the location and the format of the store. IKEA has also looked at options for downsizing or reconfiguring the store, but the nature of the site means this is not a realistic option.'
IKEA will now enter a period of consultation with the 352 co-workers affected by the closure to discuss the proposals and next steps.
They said that the company is looking to 'retain as many people as possible within IKEA and, where this isn’t possible, support them to find new employment'.
Marsha Smith, Area Manager IKEA UK and Ireland said, “As we go through this process, our priority is to support our co-workers in the Coventry store. Our ambition is to retain as many people as possible within IKEA, and where this isn’t possible, support them to find new employment.
"We will work closely with our co-workers, impacted suppliers, unions and other trusted partners to ensure all our co-workers receive all the support they need.
“We feel privileged to have been part of the community for the last 12 years and I would like to thank our co-workers, customers and partners, who have contributed throughout this time.”
During the consultation period, the Coventry store will remain open, before the proposed store closure in summer.
IKEA is also looking at alternative ways for customers in Coventry, such as the introduction of collections points where customers can order online and pick up their products from convenient places across the city.