IKEA’s latest store is opening in Hammersmith this week (February 24) in what was formerly called Kings Mall. Now it’s been rebranded as Livat Hammersmith. To celebrate, there is a series of opening events, followed by an ‘immersive Swedish experience’, running daily until March 5.
It will feature snowy winter scenes, projections of the Northern Lights and the classic smell of pine forests. There’s also a series of talks on the Swedish concept of ‘Lagom’ and how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
The Grand Opening event on Thursday February 24 will feature live music – including a steel band and an ABBA tribute – a mocktail bar and a parade of stilt walkers. The following day, Friday February 25, will involve talks on mental wellbeing, advice from life coaches and bookable wellbeing classes on mindfulness, breathing and stretching for relaxation. The Saturday will be a ‘Family Funanza’ with face painters, magicians and superheroes, and wildlife expert Nick Barker who will be on hand to teach the kids of W6 about insects and local biodiversity.
The new IKEA store is only a quarter the size of the company’s traditional megastores, but we are reassured that it will still be dishing up those meatballs. As well as the meaty ones, the plant-based version will also be available – which apparently have just 4 percent of the carbon footprint of their carnivorous equivalent.
In fact, the new shop is the only one of its kind in the UK and one of just eight globally. The store has been awarded a Breeam ‘Outstanding’ certification, a sustainability rating given to less than 1 percent of UK non-domestic buildings. It’s a very different vibe to the news about the giant IKEA at Oxford Circus, clearly.
The Hammersmith branch will focus on home accessories and soft furnishings, with those ever-so-slightly-porny roomsets to help you imaginatise your new life surrounded by good-value Scandi domestic products. Big pieces of furniture will be on display and you can order them, the model that the company used for its previous ‘Planning Studios’ (there was one on Tottenham Court Road for a while).
Some things will be different, though. The Market Hall (that bit just before the tills, where everything is just a couple of quid) will be replaced with products located next to the roomsets they represent. The café too will see the launch of a new food range. The Swedish Deli will serve hot and cold traditional delicacies, including smörrebröd open sandwiches, something called a ‘Nordic Chicken Caesar’ and Swedish mazarin (a kind of almond tart).
Oh, and some balls made of meat, whatever those are.
IKEA Hammersmith, Livat Hammersmith Shopping Centre. Opens Feb 24.