Ingka Centres acquires London’s Kings Mall shopping centre

RetailME Bureau

Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group, has acquired Kings Mall shopping centre in Hammersmith, London from Schroder UK Real Estate Fund. Ingka Centres plan to transform the shopping centre into a new IKEA-anchored urban, mixed-use destination, helping to regenerate the Hammersmith area.

The acquisition is Ingka Centres’ first in the UK and represents a milestone for the company, which in 2018 announced a new strategic vision and investment of €7.3 billion to transform its business in response to the changing retail environment.

Kings Mall will be the first mixed-use project in a downtown location, anchored by an IKEA city store. These urban projects are designed to complement IKEA retail’s strategy of opening smaller format stores in inner city locations in response to global urbanisation trends, changing customer behaviour and the digitalisation of retail.

The property was acquired from Schroder UK Real Estate Fund and comprises approximately 292,055 sqft, including the shopping centre car park for 604 lots. The volume of investment including acquisition and future redevelopment is approximately £170 million.

“Our urban projects are all about getting closer to more people, and a revamped Kings Mall will be an ideal location for reaching millions of Londoners. Hammersmith is a place where people work, live and spend their leisure time, and we want to be part of it. It is one of London’s main retail, commercial and residential centres, and has excellent public transport links,” said Gerard Groener, managing director, Ingka Centres.

“Our plan to open a new city centre store in Hammersmith is an exciting next-step, as we continue to respond to people’s evolving shopping habits, making IKEA more convenient than ever before. People have been eager to see our affordable range and access our life at home expertise on the high-street for some time, so we’re excited be part of a vibrant local community in Hammersmith and London,” added Peter Jelkeby, country retail manager and chief sustainability officer at IKEA UK & Ireland.

Sustainability will also be at the forefront of the redeveloped Kings Mall. “Our ambition is to redesign the property around our People and Planet Positive strategy, and we will focus on recycling, reusing, improving air quality, reducing customer travel and more. As an operator of high footfall destinations, we believe it is our responsibility to make sustainable living an easy choice. Especially in big cities like London,” explained Groener.

Ingka Centres also says it will invest in digitalisation and innovation as it redevelops Kings Mall to make it more relevant for today’s consumers, who shop in new ways. At its other ‘meeting places’ around the world, it has invested in digital services like hands free shopping, loyalty programmes and online communities that are enabling the company and its tenants to get closer to their customers. It plans to introduce similar features at Kings Mall.

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