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Retail giant IKEA is to open a small-format store on a prominent retail park in the East of England, the Furnishing Report understands.


ikeaSweetBriarThe Swedish retailer is planning to open the store on the Sweet Briar Retail Park in Norwich, thought to be the 19,000sqft unit currently occupied by Currys (see graphic).


It is believed to have already signed to acquire the lease from Currys owner Dixons Carphone group.


A spokesman for Dixons Carphone told the Furnishing Report they planned to move their Currys store into the space vacated by the now-defunct furnishings chain Paul Simon, inside of its sister retailer PC World on the same retail park.


No timeframe has been given for the IKEA store to open and it is not clear which of its products it will feature. IKEA’s standard store footprint is 260–340,000sqft, around 14–18 times the size of its planned Norwich store.


IKEA has been testing smaller formats in other parts of the world and last month said it would trial a 20,000sqft format in Canada later this year.


It said the store would feature a limited number of items for purchase and immediate takeaway, but would offer other services including online ordering, planning and product collection.


IKEA told the Furnishing Report: “We want to provide our customers with a simple, convenient and enjoyable shopping experience.


“As such, we are reviewing our expansion strategy on an ongoing basis and exploring opportunities to become more accessible to many more people. We can confirm that we have identified a site in Norwich that we will use to test a new retail format that aims to make IKEA more accessible than ever before. We will provide further details on our plans for the site in due course.”



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