• Ikea order and collection point to open in Aberdeen on May 12
  • Birmingham city-centre branch to follow this summer
  • First trial store open in Norwich

Ikea has revealed plans to open its first city-centre store as the furniture giant steps up its pilot of small-format sites across the UK.  

The Swedish home furnishings specialist is set to open an ’order and collection point’ store in Birmingham city-centre this summer. 

It is trialling a range of order and collection point formats across the UK as part of plans to make IKEA ”more accessible to many more people”.

The first trial store opened in Norwich last year, with a second set to open at Wellington Circle, Aberdeen, on May 12, but Ikea’s Birmingham order and collection point store will be the first to be located in a city centre.

It is understood that Ikea is also locked in negotiations to take a space at BHS’s Oxford Street store after the beleaguered department store retailer sold the lease to Oxford & City holdings earlier this month.

Ikea’s Birmingham store will be situated at Dale End in Birmingham city centre, “less than five minutes from the three main rail stations”, Ikea order and collection development manager Jack Jackson said.

The stores, which are considerably smaller than a traditional Ikea, have been “designed to bring the Ikea home furnishing range and expertise closer to customers who find themselves distant from a full-size Ikea store,” the retailer said.

“Due to their size, order and collection points will not carry the full product range, but customers will be able to order from the Ikea online range for home delivery or for collection at the collection point.

“A speciality café with free Wi-Fi will complete the offer,” it added.

Ikea Aberdeen order and collection point manager Iain Crone said: “Today, customers in the region shop with us online, but they have to travel considerable distances to our Edinburgh or Glasgow stores to see the range or get advice from our co-workers.

“The order and collection point is a fantastic opportunity to connect all the ways you can shop with us in one place.”

The Ikea group currently operates from 330 units across 28 countries.

It plans to roll out further order and collection points in the UK during the course of the year, “exploring slightly different formats in each selected market”, but a spokesman declined to give any further details.

Ikea’s UK profits nearly tripled last year following several years of earnings volatility. Its UK pre-tax profits soared 178% to £116.2m and its UK sales increased 11.3% to £1.57bn in the year ending August 31, 2015.