Whether you’re a Londoner or not, chances are you know all about the ‘big Topshop’ on Oxford Street.
For many years, the huge Topshop store was a mecca for fashion fans across the UK, who travelled there in search of treasures spread across its three shopping floors.
It wasn’t just shopping on offer either – there was a nail salon, blow-dry bar and food stalls, plus DJs pumping out music from the front of the shop. Good times.
The shop, which opened as Topshop in 1994, also gathered huge crowds for the launches of celebrity collections, whether it was Kate Moss’s tea dress-heavy Noughties collaboration or Beyonce hitting the high street with Ivy Park.
Earlier this year, however, it was announced that all Topshop stores would close as the chain collapsed into administration. Although ASOS rescued Topshop for £295million, and now sells the brand online, we still miss its presence on our high street.
And the big question has remained – which retailer will fill that massive flagship store instead?
Well now we have the answer. IKEA has announced that it is taking over the space for a whopping £378million, replacing fashion with flat packs.
The Swedish furniture giant plans to open a store focusing on home-furnishing accessories, such as lamps and curtains (easier to lug home on the Tube than a wardrobe, after all).
There will also be a café – hello meatballs – and a range of room sets on display, with items from the retailer’s full range of furniture available to buy for home delivery.
You’ll have to wait a while though, as the IKEA store on Oxford Street is not due to open until Autumn 2023.
Peter Jelkeby, the head of Ikea’s UK and Ireland business, said Ikea was looking for more stores in city centres as it wanted to be accessible to a broader range of people and link its online operation and physical outlets more closely.
“Even though online shopping continues to accelerate at a rapid pace, our physical stores, large and small, will always be an essential part of the Ikea experience – as places for inspiration and expertise, community and engagement.
“Bringing Ikea to the heart of Oxford Street – one of the most innovative, dynamic and exciting retail destinations in the world – is a direct response to these societal shifts.”