There were ugly scenes when the store first opened in 2005 (Picture: Shutterstock / Graeme Dawes)
Ikea has announced it plans to close its store in Tottenham, north London, putting 450 jobs at risk.
The home furnishings giant has said it is committed to retaining as many workers as possible, noting it would create over 600 other jobs across the capital this year.
It said the changing nature of the area and more shoppers turning online during the pandemic meant the north London store’s long-term viability was under threat.
Ikea said: ‘Last year, online represented almost half of the retailers’ total sales and the demand for different services as well as convenient deliveries accelerated.
‘This, combined with the redevelopment of the area where the store is located, prompted the retailer to assess the long-term viability of the site.’
The Tottenham store first opened in 2005 and saw ugly scenes as a midnight opening descended into violence.
Around 6,000 shoppers came to the store with the promise of time-limited bargains but fights broke out, cars were abandoned and customers got caught in heavy crushes.
Six people were taken to hospital, including a man in his 20s who was stabbed nearby.
Today’s announcement comes just weeks after the retailer said it was committing £1 billion to build new and upgraded stores in the capital over the next three years.
The investment includes the recent opening of a smaller store in Hammersmith, west London, and plans to open a store inside the former Topshop building on Oxford Street.
Ikea will also open a new fulfillment centre in Dartford in December.
Peter Jelkeby, Ikea’s UK and Ireland boss, said: ‘Taking care of our co-workers is our highest priority and we will lead with respect and compassion throughout the process.
‘The decision to propose closing the Tottenham store has not been taken lightly but we believe it is the right thing to do for our customers and business as we strengthen our position for the future.
‘We will do everything we can to support the co-workers affected and our hope is that as many as possible will continue their career journey with us.’
The furniture company hasn’t said exactly when the Tottenham store will close adding that date will be decided once it has held a ‘collective consultation with our co-workers’.
It was also not immediately clear when the Tottenham store will shut permanently.
Ikea also has stores in Croydon, Greenwich, Hammersmith, Lakeside and Wembley.
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