Ikea will open a small-format store in a retail park in Norwich as the Swedish furniture giant seeks to become more accessible to UK shoppers.

The store will be 19,000 sq ft, significantly smaller than existing Ikea shops.

An Ikea spokeswoman was unable to confirm when the store would open but said the opening is part of a trial concept to support Ikea’s expansion in the UK.

She said: “We want to provide our customers with a simple, convenient and enjoyable shopping experience.

“As such, we are reviewing our expansion strategy on an ongoing basis and exploring opportunities to become more accessible to many more people. We have identified a site in Norwich that we will use to test a new retail format that aims to make Ikea more accessible than ever before.”

Ikea has 18 retail outlets in the UK but has struggled to expand because of difficulties with planning permission for further stores.

The furniture specialist is already in the process of downsizing its store sizes in the UK. It will open a smaller store in Reading than it had originally planned to reflect changing shopping habits.

Ikea had initially submitted plans for a three-floor 409,000 sq ft store but is amending the proposal to cut the shop size to 335,000 sq ft over two levels.

The smaller Reading store does not represent a new format for Ikea, unlike the impending Norwich shop, which is a different format.

Ikea is also trialling a smaller urban format store in Hamburg in Germany, named Ikea Citystore, covering 194,000 sq ft.