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Ikea replaces Topshop as furniture becomes fashionable | Retail business

By on October 30, 2021 0

BIlly bookcases, sheepskin rugs and meatballs are about to make their debut on Oxford Street. At a time that marked a big change in the retail landscape, Ikea announced this week that it was taking over Topshop’s former flagship store in London’s most famous shopping district.

The home furnishings and accessories market has exploded as people worked from home during the pandemic, and everything suggests that sofas and cushions may soon fill the empty space left by the withdrawal of retailers from physical mode.

Lucy Stainton, business manager of Main Street Analysts Local Data Company, said: Such a prolonged period. With a number of high street fashion brands streamlining their areas either organically or through restructuring, many units have been left vacant as a result. “

Ikea’s move to town confronts him with H&M and Zara, who have created chains specializing in housewares, as well as more traditional outlets such as Next and John Lewis and start-ups like Anthropolgie, Arket and Urban Outfitters, which present shoppers with a mix of lifestyle. fashion and home kit.

Online specialists like and Loaf have also taken to the streets to market their businesses, while DIY specialists B&Q and Homebase are testing small stores. John Lewis has tried to attract shoppers for his new line of low-cost Anyday housewares with pop-up stand-alone stores in some malls, and is looking for more small spaces on main streets.

H&M has 28 H&M stores in the UK and is planning more. Photography: public relations image

H&M has 28 home stores across the UK and is planning more, having opened its first such store in 2019, while there are eight Zara Home stores and the brand is putting housewares in several. of its main stores.

In central London, from 2023, Ikea will offer small items to take away and present large furniture for home delivery. Another mainstream outlet is planned in Hammersmith this winter.

The Swedish furniture group has made several attempts to set up shop on the main street, some of which have run aground, but the time may be right.

Zara Home store Brighton
Zara has eight home stores in the UK, including Brighton. Photograph: Edward Simons / Alamy

The household goods market, including furniture and fixtures, is expected to grow 9.4% this year, rebounding from a difficult first year of the pandemic, according to GlobalData. Over the next three years, the market as a whole is expected to continue growing between 3% and 2.3%.

Marco Amasanti, retail analyst at market research firm Mintel, said many people have re-valued their homes in the past year. “While much of this has been limited by the immediacy of the disruption, financial pressures, and reluctance to allow tradespeople into the house over the past year, it could open the market to a bargain. new demands, such as house extensions, kitchen and bathroom. garden renovations and transformations in the coming year and beyond, ”he said.

Much of the growth in housewares will be online, with nearly a third of sales via the click of a mouse this year, up from just under a fifth in 2019, according to GlobalData. Online sales are expected to increase by almost 90% to reach £ 8.9bn by 2024, while department store sales will fall by £ 1bn.

People walk past 214 Oxford Street, the former flagship store of British fashion chain Topshop
The former Topshop flagship is just one of the many fashion stores that have closed on Oxford Street in London. Photograph: Henry Nicholls / Reuters

Patrick O’Brien, of Global Data, said Ikea’s move to Main Street was also driven by sustainability concerns, which are increasingly of concern to consumers. The more convenient locations allow shoppers to get there by public transport rather than by car.

Amasanti said shoppers always appreciate a physical store when choosing large items such as beds and sofas, which are much more difficult to return if they don’t fit. He said offering services like click and collect for small items and repairs or refurbishments could also attract buyers.

But household items have not escaped difficulties during the pandemic. Since 2019, 821 net household goods stores have closed in shopping streets and malls.

Ikea’s move into the former Topshop store will be closely watched. If it’s successful, Stainton said, it could pave the way for other brands.

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