IKEA Exeter opens its doors to the South West
Home furnishings retailer IKEA today opens the doors of its much-anticipated store on Newcourt Way, Exeter.
The retailer celebrated the new opening with a ceremony hosted by Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK and Ireland Country Manager and Nick Earle, IKEA Exeter Store Manager. They were accompanied by Lord Mayor Cllr Lesley Robson, Cllr Peter Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council, Karime Hassan, Chief Executive of Exeter City Council, and local school children from Trinity CofE Primary school in Newcourt.
Loyal fans queued to be the first through the doors and experience the brand’s famous Swedish hospitality. Celebrations began on opening day morning with a range of tasty IKEA treats for guests to enjoy, as well as entertainment from a magician and a brass band.
Nick Earle, IKEA Exeter Store Manager, said: “We are delighted to be opening our doors to the city of Exeter and the wider region today. Myself and my team of talented co-workers are looking forward to welcoming the people of the South West to IKEA. We want our customers to enjoy a fun day out and discover inspirational solutions to make their lives at home that bit more wonderful.
“We’re proud to be part of such a fantastic community and are excited to play an active role in the area by building long-lasting relationships with local partners and charities.”
The 29,000 sqm store brings IKEA’s extensive range of high quality, affordable products to Exeter and the South West. The store features IKEA’s popular range of inspirational room sets along with a crèche, restaurant, bistro, a Changing Places toilet facility1 and car park with over 1,000 free spaces.
IKEA Exeter also includes some new and exclusive features, including the retailer’s first greenhouse in the UK, a spacious glass area showcasing outdoor living.
Prior to the store opening, IKEA’s Life at Home specialists conducted a number of home visits in Exeter and the surrounding area to learn more about how people in the region live. These insights have been brought to life in the new store’s roomsets, such as outdoor living and the strong holiday-let business in the coastal area.
Gillian Drakeford, IKEA UK and Ireland Country Manager, said: “The opening of our 21st store in the UK is another significant step in our ambitious expansion plans. We are hugely excited to be bringing our retail offering to the South West as we aim to bring the IKEA brand and concept even closer to the many people”.
Cllr Peter Edwards, Leader of Exeter County Council, commented: “IKEA’s investment in the Exeter and Devon area is a great boost to the region and a huge milestone for the South West. The arrival of such an iconic global brand has not only created hundreds of jobs for local people, but it’s also an asset in making Exeter a destination for those in the surrounding area. The excitement seen today shows how much locals have anticipated IKEA’s arrival and we can already see how the new store is becoming a central part of the local community.”
IKEA Exeter has created 370 jobs in a wide range of roles, with over 85% of the new team recruited from the Exeter and Devon area as part of IKEA’s commitment to being a good neighbour and a true partner in the local community. As part of IKEA’s commitment to being a good employer and to “create a better everyday life for the many people”, all co-workers will receive at least the real Living Wage2.
Prior to the store opening, “The Wonderful Everyday Tour” saw a variety of events and installations pop up around Exeter and the surrounding area for the community to enjoy. The celebrations will continue following the store opening, with the store hosting a range of activities including craft workshops and cookery classes.
The latest opening hours, offers and events at the IKEA Exeter store can be found at http://www.IKEA.co.uk/Exeter