Boost for Ikea as Wednesbury store expansion plan agreed

Plans to expand Ikea’s Wednesbury store to meet increasing demand by online customers and creating dozens of jobs have been given the go-ahead.

Ikea will erect a temporary building containing 51 click and collect lockers
Ikea will erect a temporary building containing 51 click and collect lockers

Walsall Council planners have granted permission for the Swedish flat-pack furniture giants to erect a temporary building containing 51 click and collect lockers within.

Bosses said the development will create a total of 41 jobs and alleviate the existing problem of a lack of space at the store off Park Lane. They added demand is growing due to Covid-19.

The current click and collect facility can only cater for 20 orders at a time but the new building – which will be in place for 36 months – will hold up to 100 customers’ goods.

In the application, planning agents Quod said: “The proposed C&C facilities are a temporary measure targeted at meeting current pressing customer demands and as a result temporary planning consent is sought.

“Ikea are reviewing a more permanent solution to respond to the growing customer demand for C&C service.

“The continued popularity of online retail, rising and the impact of Covid-19 amongst other matters, has meant that retailers must be able to adapt quickly to meet changing expectations.

An artist impression of where the proposed click and collect lockers at IKEA will be. Image: SRA Architects

“The demand for C&C has significantly increased at the Ikea Wednesbury store.

“As a result, the store is currently unable to meet its existing customer demand since there is not sufficient space within the store to hold customers’ orders.”

They added: “The new facilities will allow additional storage space for more orders which will enable Ikea to better meet the needs of their existing customers.

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the proposals will make socially distanced shopping easier by giving the existing customers at Ikea the ability to shop without having to enter the store, provide greater flexibility to choose when they shop and avoid peak times, and allows contactless collection for goods being collected from the lockers.

“IKEA staff will also ensure social distancing is maintained at all times when orders are collected from the storage building by asking customers to remain in their vehicles until they have left the parking bay.”

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