Birmingham's Ikea story might be set to close - but it could form part of a huge transformation of that part of the city centre.
BirminghamLive revealed yesterday the iconic Swedish outlet's store in Birmingham city centre will close next month, placing 39 jobs under threat.
The Dale End shop, known as Ikea Order and Collection Point (OCP), opened in 2016 as part of a test programme - but didn't draw enough customers.
The store, underneath the NCP cark park, is owned by Hammerson, the company which also owns Bullring and Grand Central.
A Hammerson spokesperson said it would be coming forward in a matter of months with plans for the wider area, known as Martineau Galleries. This could potentially mean new shops, offices and restaurants in the vast site, which will be opposite the new HS2 Curzon Street station.
She said: “Ikea’s decision to trial one of its new retail formats in Birmingham city centre was a great opportunity – especially as they were only taking space in five cities across UK and Ireland.
"We work closely with both established and emerging retailers to provide them with space to test concepts and engage with customers on both a temporary and longer term basis. The Bullring Estate has a great track record of attracting new brands to the region alongside some UK firsts with NYX Cosmetics, street-food inspired Thai Express and soul food operator, Holy Moly Macaroni all taking space in recent months.
“The space let to Ikea forms part of the Martineau Galleries site. We are working with Birmingham City Council on a masterplan and will bring it forward over the coming months. In the meantime we will look for alternative uses for the space to ensure the area remains active.”
Ikea announced the shop in Dale End will close on August 9 because of "a number of factors" which included the location of the shop.
Customers at the store, which is on the ground floor of a multi-storey car park, place orders on computer screens and then collect the items either the same day or the following day.
Rooms have been mocked up to show customers how furniture looks and there is also an on-site café.
The future for the car park has always been in question amid plans for massive change in that part of the city centre, which will see neighbouring areas pedestrianised.
Artist's impressions for the area around the HS2 Curzon Street show proposals for a vastly different proposition.
Hammerson owns a vast swathe of land the size of 36 football pitches.
The site comprises:
- ‘The Square’ (the 270,000 sq ft shopping centre formerly known as Priory Square).
- Dale and Century House.
- Two empty office blocks in Dale End.
- A 1,100-space NCP car park and another 720-space NCP car park.
- 1-7 Kings Parade (a row of shops with McDonalds and TSB Bank, in Dale End).
- Londonderry House in Priory Queensway.
- The Bannatyne gym.
- Scruffy Murphys pub.
Community leaders have been frustrated at slow progress around Martineau Galleries in recent years.
Hammerson has been involved with the land since before 1999 and now owns it outright.