Swedish furniture giant Ikea is preparing a planning application for a new store in Calcot, near Reading. It would be its first store opening in the UK and Ireland in more than a year.
The retailer is launching a dedicated website- www.ikea-calcot-consultation.co.uk - on September 16 for local people to register their views. Plans can be viewed at a number of public offices.
The Calcot store would stock 9,000 furniture and home furnishing products and would also have a restaurant. It is not known how big the site would be, but the average Ikea store size is 98,400 sq ft.
The store would also have a car park and would be accessible from existing national and local bus services, as part of the retailer’s green transport policy.
Ikea, which has 19 UK stores, says the new outlet would create 400 jobs across all of its departments including sales, interior design, customer services and warehousing.
The retailer has historically struggled to gain planning permission for new openings. In 2004, then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott threw out its plans for a giant store in Stockport over concerns that it was too big, did not offer enough parking, lacked public transport and would have a negative impact on local traders. Prescott’s decision came despite a public inquiry ruling it should go ahead.
Ikea, which opened its first UK store in Warrington in 1987, opened a store in Dublin and in Southhampton last year.