Ikea, the Swedish furniture company, has announced that it will close its store in Coventry, in the West Midlands, putting 352 jobs at risk of redundancy. The store is expected to close in summer 2020, following a period of compulsory consultation.
A representative of the company has said that the closure of the Coventry store is important for the long-term success of Ikea in the UK and promised to support the affected employees by offering them redeployment in other UK stores or by supporting them to find new jobs. The company's decision is motivated by the growing economic difficulties in the UK’s high streets and retail sector and expanding share of online shopping.
The Usdaw union said that their priority was to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.
Coventry City Council officials have also started negotiations with Ikea about supporting employees facing redundancies and utilising the store building. Ikea has been operating in the UK for over 30 years and has 22 stores in the country.