One era ends and another begins.
On my first wide-eyed trips to central London, it became apparent to me that one place, for better or worse, dominated your eyeline as you stepped out of Oxford Circus station: the bloody massive Topshop.
You all know what I’m talking about; hell, if you’re like me you probably copped a few questionable items of clothing there over the years. But now, that space lies empty, after the Arcadia Group went into administration last November, thus signalling the start of a new era at the forefront of Oxford Street.
And you really couldn’t think of a more striking, recognisable brand to grab the mantle from Topshop than IKEA, as the Swedish homeware giants prepares to take over the dormant space.
Reports have confirmed that the legendary site has been purchased as part of an eye-watering £378 million deal, which will go through in January. Three floors of the former Arcadia building will soon feature all your home comforts; and it is hoped that the new flagship will open in Autumn 2023.
Peter Jelkeby, Head of Ikea’s UK and Ireland business, said physical stores “will always be an essential part of the Ikea experience.”
“Bringing Ikea to the heart of Oxford Street – one of the most innovative, dynamic and exciting retail destinations in the world – is a direct response to these societal shifts and an exciting step forward in our journey to becoming a more accessible I.”
It was reported by the BBC in September that the brand were in talks to open their most central store in London at the old Topshop site. And it’ll really be quite something, wouldn’t it? Popping into Oxford Street for a gander, departing with a wardrobe to lug home on your three-change route. The dream.
It comes after IKEA’s profits actually rose over lockdown, with people flocking online to improve their home while they had fewer things to keep themselves busy with.
The famous 214 Oxford Street site was up for sale from May 2021, and, according to The Guardian, had also seen interest from other brands including H&M and Fraser’s Group (House Of Fraser, Sports Direct). However, it looks like IKEA have won the race to the spot. This would not impact the Nike and Vans stores which also occupied part of the Arcadia Centre where Topshop resided.
Come Autumn 2023, Oxford Street will add the vibrant blue and yellow of IKEA to its vast colour palette. Catch us at the front of the line!