Southampton Ikea store - is it an asset or liability
note: the owner of this website not only has no
connection whatsoever with Ikea, she has never even
set foot in one of their stores! )
IKEA opened a store on West Quay Road in the
Southampton City Centre on February 12, 2009. Area
residents expressed concerns about the opening of
the Southampton IKEA store. Is it an asset or
liability to Southampton?
concern noted by Southampton residents was the
likelihood that the store would increase traffic in
the area. IKEA worked with the city government to
lessen the impact of additional traffic in the city.
IKEA agreed to contribute money yearly for traffic
improvements in Southampton. Two roads that
intersected with West Quay Road, Harbour Parade and
Southern Road, were widened at their junctions with
West Quay Road. The IKEA car park was put on top of
the store. Drivers waiting to get into this car park
are able to wait on the IKEA property instead of out
on the road. Entrance lanes were constructed on West
Quay Road for access to the IKEA property. The store
is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays.
The opening and closing times do not coincide with
rush hour traffic in the area.
It was expected that the IKEA store would benefit
Southampton in some ways. The Southampton City
Council believed that the opening of the IKEA store
would bring additional shoppers to shopping centres
close the store. More than 100,000 people visited
IKEA during the first five days after the store
opened. IKEA estimated that two million people would
visit the Southampton store every year. It was
believed that IKEA would bring more jobs to the
region. The store provided nearly 500 jobs for area
residents. Southampton residents who had formerly
travelled out of town to shop at the nearest IKEA
would now shop in Southampton.
IKEA customarily supports local charities. The
Southampton store supported Emmaus Hampshire. Emmaus
UK Federation provides a place for homeless people
to live and trains them for jobs.
There are some occasional traffic problems in the
area due to IKEA. The increased number of people
shopping in the area and IKEA’s charitable
contributions outweigh these problems. The IKEA
store seems to be more of an asset than a liability
Copyright Pamela Ross 2010