Ikea is reportedly in talks to buy Churchill Square in a move which could see the Swedish superstore’s wares finally come to the Sussex coast.
The furniture giant is said to be offering a price of around £175 million for the shopping mall, according to industry publication Costar.
Its Ingka Centres division has just opened a new store in another shopping mall, Kings Mall in Hammersmith, which it bought in 2021.
It opened its first smaller scale store, Livat, as the anchor tenant there last March, selling home accessories alongside a Swedish deli and kitchen and bathroom planning services.
Meanwhile, the largest unit in Churchill Square has been empty since Debenhams closed in 2020.
Churchill Square is owned by investment company Abrdn. A spokesperson said: “Discussions have been ongoing for a few months around a possible sale. Abrdn do not wish to comment on speculation in the market.”
An IKEA spokesperson said: “As part of our ongoing transformation to be closer to our customers, however they choose to shop with us, we continually explore the potential of new locations and sites. As it stands today, we have no news to share.”
Ikea has long been reported to be scouting for sites in Brighton and Hove – and before the pandemic, it developed plans for a superstore in Lancing, off the A27.
But in 2021, it backed out, at the same time it started looking into opening smaller stores.
It has also bought the former flagship Topshop store in Oxford Street, which is expected to open as an Ikea Livat store this autumn.
When the Hammersmith store opened, Ikea UK’s country retail manager Peter Jelkeby said: “Whilst London is the initial focus of our city-centre approach, our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people.
“All of our efforts centre on creating happy customers, and we will learn from our London approach, whilst continuing to develop plans for other city centre locations as well as the wider UK and Ireland, to bring our offer even closer.”
The Hammersmith Livat store is intended to be a “lively community destination” including other retail stores, pop-ups and food outlets.
Churchill Square recently let part of its former Topshop store to The Botanist, which became the first unit in the mall to secure an alcohol licence earlier this year.
Where are their customers going to park?
Churchill Square Car Park – it has 1600 Spaces!
Or Regency Square Car Park.. just a few minutes walk.
Or the NCP car park on Russell Road.
For those who haven’t quite followed this, IKEA are changing their business model.
Instead of an out of town retail warehouse, for which they are solely responsible, they will instead buy Churchill square, an existing shopping centre with nearby parking – and their own brand takes over just one of the larger units there. (Isn’t there a big empty one, at the back?)
The other/existing shop and brand outlets remain, as rent payers to IKEA as the new shopping centre owners. The costs of running Churchill Square, are shared, so that’s a saving for the IKEA brand.
As a customer, you can then go and see their products and, if you are not a car owner, you can order online and get stuff delivered.
I’d say this is good news for the city.
Who wanted the cancelled IKEA retail park over at Lancing, with it’s traffic queues ? – Just car owners, I guess.
But times change.
I was concerned that it might mean us having to assemble a whole new shopping centre with just an Allan key and a set of very complicated instructions……….
Not to mention a part left over that we aren’t sure was important or not, but we discard it anyway because it looks like the thing we were trying to build, and we’ve already spent most of our day, energy, effort and morale on assembling this thing – starting off quite positive, but quickly learning we should have consulted the instruction manual from the very start but didn’t do so because it can’t be that complicated, right?
Hey it’s Christian I think this is a bad adea are labour going to let this happen then you be able to but clothes any more
The council doesn’t own Churchill Square and don’t have a veto on who does or on which shops rent space there.
That applies no matter which party is in power.
Also, I doubt they are taking over the WHOLE of Churchill Square.
Shame not used for yoga, mindfulness, wellbeing. Would be a great spot! Always about shops. Shopping is not as good as well-being. Folk need soaves to breath not buy rugs
Is it possible that people may choose to do both? Beautiful surroundings are as important for your soul as yoga is for your body
There are a few empty shops and spaces in CS.
Have you and other people doing Yoga and mindfulness ever contacted the management to ask if it’s possible to use a space on a temporary basis?
They might say no but they might say yes. Often it’s people like you that have to make the first move to get these things going.
You can do what you want in a shop unit – as long as you pay the rent for it!
No, you can’t.
We need to be mindful of mindfulness!
Breathing and cold water better than shopping
Yoga and reike better than shopping
A glass of fizz in your garden better than shopping