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Ikea Continues £700M UK Retail Real Estate Push

Retail giant Ikea is in talks to buy a 520K SF shopping centre in Brighton for around £175M in a deal that would push it past the £700M mark on UK retail real estate spending over the past three years.

The Churchill Square shopping centre in Brighton

Ikea is negotiating to buy the Churchill Square shopping centre in the wealthy south coast city from Abrdn, CoStar reported, following a competitive bidding process. It would be one of the largest UK mall sales in the past five years. Investors have shied away from the sector as retailers cut space and demand lower rents.

If the deal completes, it will mean Ikea has spent about £720M on UK retail real estate in the past three years, making it one of the most prolific investors in the sector. 

It bought the 398K SF Kings Mall shopping centre in Hammersmith, west London, from Schroders for £170M in 2020. In February last year it rebranded the centre as Livat, its first city centre shopping mall. The scheme contains a small-format Ikea store as well as a Lidl supermarket and other retail. 

In December 2021, Ikea paid £377M for the former home of Topshop on Oxford Circus in central London. The building was owned by a subsidiary of Topshop, which went into administration in November 2020.

Occupiers at Churchill Square include Zara, Urban Outfitters, Apple, Pandora, Next, Bershka and Victoria's Secret, CoStar said.