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IKEA Giltbrook opens doors after £25m refurbishment

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Whether the draw is a new sofa, a rug or simply the meatballs, a shopping trip to Nottingham Ikea is just about to get bigger and better.

The Swedish home furnishing giant’s new extension at Giltbrook Retail Park - part of the store’s £25m improvement project - was unveiled to the public on July 18.

“Like a home magazine but in real life” is how staff describe the new-look 3,500 square metre showroom, which is all about finding solutions whatever the size and shape of your property.

Inspiration came from a design team visiting customers’ homes within a 20-minute radius of the store.

“We wanted to know what rooms looked like and what works for them and what the challenges and frustrations were,” Chris Smith, Sales manager told the post.

Room displays in the extension now mirror the space of a terrace, a semi or a large detached property. One of the sets flows from the living room, dining room and kitchen, to bedrooms and bathroom, just like a real house.

Digital touch screens make browsing easier for customers and projections show DIY tips on how to assemble the flat-pack furniture.

There’s more shortcuts to save shoppers having to trek through all the different departments and, for the first time, parts of the new showroom have windows so visitors can check out colours in natural light.

The existing showroom and market hall will be remodelled over coming months, while a bigger restaurant with seating for 500 people is set to open in October.

The store, which opened in August 1997, was originally built to cater for an estimated one million customers. Today that figure is 2.8m.

Alex Powell, project manager said: “We are very, very successful here. People in the East Midlands do like a day shopping at Ikea. They come for breakfast and stay all day.”

“It will be two-and-a-half years from planning to completion early next year. It has been a complex project keeping the store open during construction with minimal disruption to customers.”

Part of the car park has been lost to make way for the extension but Ikea even came up with a solution for that. “The car park is now on the roof of the extension. There will be room for 110 cars on the top deck,” said Alex.