Smaller Ikea stores could be on their way to North East high streets

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Ikea could be swapping its superstores for smaller outlets to be closer to its customers, it has been claimed.

The Swedish furniture giant is said to be heading to the high streets after frustrated customers said they want to travel fewer miles to get to the nearest store.

The new store will act as an online order and collection point, and customers will also be able to speak to Ikea home furnishing experts for advice when making larger purchases, such as kitchens or wardrobes.

The store will carry a limited range of goods and will also house a cafe.

Gillian Drakeford, Ikea’s UK country manager, said: “We know that consumers in the UK like to shop across many channels and are using multiple devices.

“Our customers are also telling us that with 18 stores in the UK, we are often too far away.

“Order and Collection Points give us the opportunity to trial new ways of being more accessible.”

Ikea has already opened similar trial formats in Spain, Norway and Finland. Bosses hope the smaller stores will bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping.

Image: Ikea set to unveil smaller high street stores. Photo: Matt Morton/PA Wire