Home furnishing retailer IKEA today officially kicked off construction of its new Reading store. The first to be built in the UK in seven years, the new store will bring the IKEA product range to the doorsteps of customers in the Thames Valley.
The leader of the West Berkshire Council, Cllr Gordon Lundie, joined IKEA Reading Store Manager, Johanna Heuren and IKEA UK Country Retail Manager, Gillian Drakeford, to ceremonially cement a steel column at the entrance of the new store, which will welcome thousands of customers when the store opens in Summer 2016.
The 32,000 square metre store on Pincents Lane, Calcot, will provide the full IKEA product range of high-quality, competitively-priced products and will create up to 350 jobs in functions including customer relations, sales, interior design and in the IKEA restaurant.
Johanna Heuren, IKEA Reading Store Manager, said: “We are delighted to officially kick-off the development of the new IKEA Reading store as we move closer to bringing IKEA’s home furnishing offer to people in the Thames Valley. Over the coming months we will be focused on finding passionate and curious co-workers to join our team and getting to know the local community better to ensure that IKEA meets the needs of both our customers and our community.”
Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK Country Retail Manager, said: “As the first new store to be built in the UK in seven years, the start of work on of the IKEA Reading store is a really important milestone for our expansion plans as we look to make IKEA more accessible to many more people.
Councillor Gordon Lundie, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said: “I am pleased to welcome IKEA to the area and look forward to the store opening next year. IKEA has an impressive commitment to their co-workers and to working with the communities it operates within, and I look forward to working in partnership to ensure that IKEA has a positive impact in Berkshire.”
IKEA Reading with be the 19th store in the UK. The first store was opened in Warrington in 1987.