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Home furnishings retailer, IKEA, today officially celebrates the construction of its new Exeter store. IKEA UK and Ireland Country Retail Manager Gillian Drakeford and Exeter Store Manager Nick Earle were joined by Lord Mayor Lesley Robson and Council Leader Peter Edwards in leading the groundbreaking ceremony for the new store.

Due to open in early summer 2018, IKEA has invested £80 million in the new Exeter store and will be located on Newcourt Way, bringing its extensive range of inspirational, well designed, quality products at affordable prices to the South-West of England.

On IKEA’s new Exeter store, IKEA UK and Ireland Country Retail Manager Gillian Drakeford commented, “In our 30th anniversary year, our new Exeter store highlights our commitment to continued expansion and investment in the UK. As part of our growth plans, we aim to make IKEA as accessible to as many people as possible, and we are delighted to be able to bring our home-furnishings expertise to Exeter and the surrounding area.”

The store will create 350 job opportunities, which will include roles in customer relations, food and beverage, sales, interior design and IT. IKEA is committed to being a good neighbour and engaging with local communities around its stores. IKEA will therefore work closely alongside local employment agencies to ensure that job vacancies are made available to members of the local community.

Exeter Store Manager, Nick Earle, added, “Today is an important milestone as we officially mark the construction of IKEA Exeter. We’re looking forward to welcoming new co-workers and opening our doors in Exeter in early summer 2018. We will aim to become an active part of the local community, while ensuring we provide the unique shopping experience that our customers know and trust.”

IKEA is committed to investing in its people and paying its co-workers a meaningful wage that supports the cost of living. Therefore, all IKEA Exeter co-workers will be paid the Real Living Wage and will also receive a generous benefits package including an annual bonus and a pension loyalty scheme.

IKEA Exeter will be the retailer’s most sustainable store to date and will aim to achieve 100% renewable energy. The store expects to receive a BREEAM ‘excellent’ accreditation and will incorporate a number of green technologies such as Solar PV panels on the roof, rainwater harvesting and ground source heating.

Electric vehicles (E.V.) will be used for home delivery, and IKEA will provide eight electric vehicle charging points on site to offer renewable generated power for E.V. vehicles. IKEA will also create new cycle lanes around the store and will also provide six electric bike charging points. IKEA actively encourages co-workers and visitors to use these sustainable transport options where possible and are working with local transport providers to improve existing transport links around the store.

Council Leader Peter Edwards, said: “This is a significant moment for Exeter. We have long been anticipating IKEA’s arrival in the city, which is why we’ve worked closely with IKEA to make this happen. Now the diggers are beginning their work, a new IKEA store is fast becoming a reality. The new store will create many new jobs for local people in and around Exeter, as well as bring investment to the city and surrounding region. It will be a great addition to the south-west’s retail offering, and we look forward to the store’s opening.”

The Exeter store will be the 21st IKEA store in the UK, scheduled to open in early summer 2018. The groundbreaking ceremony took place today as IKEA announced that over 1,300 new jobs will be created in the UK before the end of 2018. In addition to the Exeter store, further jobs will be created with new store openings in Sheffield and Greenwich.