Toogood seeks UK sites for Ilva

Former B&Q boss Martin Toogood is to bring Danish furniture name Ilva to the UK.

He became executive chairman of Ilva after venture capitalist Advent International acquired the business in a deal understood to be worth EUR 90 million (£61.5 million).

He believes there is potential for at least 25 UK stores, and is already looking for suitable out-of-town and edge-of-town sites from Birmingham southwards. Toogood aims to open the first store next year, following a push into Sweden.

Ikea has had problems opening stores in the UK, and Toogood said there might be 'long lead times' for sites. However, he said there has been an 'incredibly positive' response from property owners.

Former Bhs property director Derek Maynard is part of the Ilva team and will be in charge of finding suitable space.

Toogood said: 'Having been at B&Q, you can see when a winning formula is working. The Ilva customer proposition has been beautifully worked up and it's ready for roll-out.'

Ilva is Denmark's second biggest furniture retailer after Ikea, and its three stores generate sales of approximately DKr740 million (£68.1 million). Prices are similar to Ikea.