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IKEA respond to rumours of plans for new store in Thanet


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IKEA bosses have responded to rumours they are eyeing up a location in Kent for a new store.

Some residents had heard the Swedish furniture giant was considering moving into the former Saga call centre in Ramsgate.

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

For the past year, the site has been used as a huge vaccination hub - but NHS chiefs announced last month it was relocating to an empty PC World.

Some believed this was in order to make way for the arrival of IKEA, which would have been a major coup for Thanet.

But sadly the firm has now confirmed it is not considering the Isle as a potential location "at this current time".

An IKEA spokesman 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.

The former Saga call centre in Ramsgate which has been used as a vaccine hub. Picture: Sibley Pares
The former Saga call centre in Ramsgate which has been used as a vaccine hub. Picture: Sibley Pares

"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.

"We are not considering Thanet as a potential location for IKEA at this current time.”

It means the nearest IKEA to Kent remains the branch at Lakeside, Essex.

The last day for the vaccine hub at the Saga building - which was visited by Boris Johnson before Christmas - will be Thursday.

Boris Johnson at the vaccination centre at Saga in Ramsgate. Picture: NHS Kent and Medway
Boris Johnson at the vaccination centre at Saga in Ramsgate. Picture: NHS Kent and Medway

It will move to the vacant PC World outlet at Westwood, near to Tesco Extra on Margate Road on Saturday.

A NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman said there isn't any planned downtime during the relocation.

"Thanet vaccination centre has been enormously successful with more than 200,000 vaccinations given in 12 months," she said.

"It was also recently visited by the Prime Minister who commented on its outstanding success helping to protect people in the local area.

"The team is moving a short distance to the former PC World store in Westwood Cross, where it will continue to offer vaccines to the people of Thanet and east Kent.

The Thanet vaccination centre will move to the former PC World store which is now vacant. Picture: Google Street View
The Thanet vaccination centre will move to the former PC World store which is now vacant. Picture: Google Street View

"The new site will still be known as Thanet vaccination centre.

"In the meantime, there are plenty of places in Kent and Medway to be vaccinated."

You can find a full list by clicking here.

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