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Ikea not currently considering opening Kent store despite huge demand

Calls for an Ikea superstore in the county have rumbled on for years - with Kent shoppers still having to cross the Thames in order to browse the popular retailer's furniture aisles.

But despite a strong appetite for a new superstore in the south-east, the Swedish firm says Kent is not "currently" on its radar.

Ikea currently has 26 stores in the UK
Ikea currently has 26 stores in the UK

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The admission is bound to disappoint those wanting a shorter journey to Ikea.

A central position in the east of the county - such as Canterbury - has been perceived by many as the ideal location.

Kentonline's sister paper the Kentish Gazette asked its Facebook followers if they would welcome an Ikea in the city.

The suggestion received immense support, with hundreds of people sharing their hopes for a nearby branch.

Shoppers are convinced Ikea would perform well if it took on one of Kent's large, empty shopping units
Shoppers are convinced Ikea would perform well if it took on one of Kent's large, empty shopping units

Louise Jones-Shirvell said: "If they brought one to Canterbury I would never be out if it."

Others suggested the empty former Homebase store in Wincheap as an ideal spot.

Sue Taft said: "Would be fantastic - much needed as travelling to Thurrock is a living nightmare. It’s easier to go to Southampton than Thurrock from Kent - we need an Ikea in Canterbury or Thanet desperately."

Westwood Cross has also been tipped as favoured location.

But an Ikea spokesman says the firm is currently ruling out locations in Kent.

Ikea fans believe Westwood Cross in Thanet has a sufficient road network nearby to cope with a new superstore.
Ikea fans believe Westwood Cross in Thanet has a sufficient road network nearby to cope with a new superstore.

"We are not considering Kent as a potential location for Ikea at this current time," they said.

"We’re in a fast changing retail environment and we want to make sure we continue to be affordable and convenient.

"Our ambitious growth plans mean we are focusing on all parts of creating a great customer experience, whenever and wherever people need us.

"This includes investing in our online offer and customer services, rebuilding and adapting existing Ikea stores, and evaluating different locations as part of a new city centre approach.

"As such, we are reviewing our growth strategy on an ongoing basis."

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