Home furnishings retailer IKEA today opens the doors of its much-anticipated store in Exeter. The retailer which celebrated its 30th anniversary in the UK last year welcomes its 21st store and brings a boost of 370 new jobs to the region.
The retailer celebrated the new opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK and Ireland country manager and Nick Earle, IKEA Exeter store manager. They were accompanied by Lord Mayor Cllr Lesley Robson, Cllr Peter Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council, Karime Hassan, Chief Executive of Exeter City Council, and local school children from Trinity CofE Primary school in Newcourt.
The 29,000 sqm store brings IKEA’s extensive range of high quality, affordable products to Exeter and the South West. The store features IKEA’s popular range of inspirational room sets along with a crèche, restaurant, bistro, a Changing Places1 toilet facility and car park with over 1,000 free spaces.
IKEA Exeter also includes some new and exclusive features, including the retailer’s first greenhouse in the UK, a spacious glass area showcasing outdoor living.
Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK and Ireland country manager, said: “The opening of our 21st store in the UK is another significant step in our ambitious expansion plans. We are hugely excited to be bringing our retail offering to the South West as we aim to bring the IKEA brand and concept even closer to the many people.”
Nick Earle, IKEA Exeter store manager, said: “We are delighted to be opening our doors to the city of Exeter and the wider region today. Myself and my team of talented co-workers are looking forward to welcoming the people of the South West to IKEA.”
IKEA Exeter is the retailer’s most sustainable store to date in the UK and aims to achieve 100% renewable energy. The store has a BREEAM ‘excellent’ accreditation and incorporates a number of green technologies such as Solar PV panels on the roof, rainwater harvesting and ground source heating. IKEA Exeter also offers eight electric vehicle charging points and has electric vans available as part of its home delivery service.
With 370 new jobs being created, over 85% have been recruited locally from the Exeter and Devon area. As part of IKEA’s commitment to being a good employer and to “create a better everyday life for the many people”, all co-workers will receive at least the real Living Wage2.
Prior to the store opening, IKEA’s Life at Home specialists conducted a number of home visits in Exeter and the surrounding area to learn more about how people in the region live. As a unique approach from the retailer, these insights have been brought to life in the new store’s roomsets.
IKEA Exeter is located on Newcourt Way, Exeter. The store is well served by public transport from the city centre and is easily accessed via bus and train.