Ikea have opened a new store on Bromley High Street in the former Mothercare unit.
The store is far smaller than your typical Ikea and marks a change in direction away from the vast retail sheds seen at Greenwich to smaller stores in cities aimed at working with shoppers to design rooms and homes and arrange delivery.
With the number of people driving in London having fallen sharply over the past 20 years – especially those under 40 – and a big increase in town centre living, Ikea have moved into this part of the market.
Similar stores exist at Stratford and Tottenham Court Road.
An Ikea spokesperson said: “The opening of Ikea Bromley is another exciting step in our city centre approach and we’re currently exploring other locations in London for similar outlets, to help improve accessibility across the city.”
Which all begs the question of whether Ikea in Greenwich could, and should, have been built in a radically different manner. Even if it remained a large store, much needed homes could have been built on site as part of a radical change in the layout of the area – perhaps with a multi-storey car park for more efficient use of land.
But in tried and true fashion Greenwich Council took the short term option of extra jobs trumping all else – which could have been provided alongside other benefits.