IKEA UK has announced that it will no longer progress with the planned development of an IKEA store at the New Monks Farm site in Lancing, West Sussex, and will sell the land.
The retailer selected the site just over five years ago in 2016, and says that much has changed since then, with the retail market evolving considerably and customer shopping habits changing fast: "Not only because of increasing urbanisation and the development of new technologies, but also due to more and more people shopping online, a trend which has accelerated over the last 12 months as a result of the pandemic", reads the retailer's statement.
Richard Rands, market expansion manager at IKEA UK & Ireland, says: “This has not been an easy decision to make. Today, we are operating in an incredibly fast-changing retail environment and customer shopping habits aren’t as they once were. Although we know that there is great potential in Sussex, we no longer believe that an IKEA store on the outskirts of Lancing is the optimum way to reach customers in the region. We understand this news may disappoint some but we will continue to serve customers in Lancing and the wider area in the best possible way, through both our online offer and home delivery service, as well as our remote selling and planning facilities.”
IKEA says it remains committed to growth in the UK, and as part of its omnichannel strategy to meet customers whenever and wherever they choose, will continue to "put all its energy" into its existing stores, investing in its online offer and exploring new formats.
The land in Lancing will be advertised for sale in due course as part of an open bidding process.