IKEA to open new location in Preston - What we know about retail giant's plans four years on from collapse of Bamber Bridge superstore
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The city is one of three North West locations that will house new Plan & Order Points. Although much smaller than a standard IKEA store, the units will be packed with information and samples, but there will be no products to take away or food for sale on site.
They will provide customers with a design consultation with experienced IKEA kitchen and bedroom storage experts on hand.
Exact opening dates and locations of the new stores have not yet been announced.
The plans come four years on from a cancelled Bamber Bridge proposal that collapsed after an increase in development costs.
The Swedish furniture company first established interest in a Preston site back in late 2016, after plans to build a new store in Lancashire which would create 4,500 jobs were announced.
The first phase of construction was planned to start in 2018. However the retail giants left Lancashire County Council feeling “extremely disappointed” when suddenly revealing they were pulling out of the deal.
A month earlier it was revealed the cost of earthworks had risen from £2million to £4m, and as a result, the company said the ‘increased development costs and delays outside of IKEA’s control’ no longer made the location viable.
The new plans propose Plan & Order Points facilities in Preston, Aintree and Stockport as the retailer takes the next step to strengthen its presence in the North West.
The focus will be on bespoke kitchen and wardrobe designs, although customers will be able to get help planning any room in their home. Customer orders will be transported to the customer’s home, or made available for collection to another convenient point of delivery.
Marsha Smith, Deputy Country Retail Manager, IKEA UK & Ireland, says: “Our investment in the North West is part of our long-term plan to transform our retail business, making it easier for our customers to shop with us in a number of convenient ways. With a variety of stores, service offers and digital solutions that complement each other, our aim is to be there for our customers, however they want to meet us."