Ingka Centres Launches in London with world first urban meeting place
- Ingka Centres has transformed the Kings Mall in Hammersmith, west London into a vibrant community destination - its first urban meeting place
- The new £170m meeting place has been renamed Livat Hammersmith, and is the company first Livat meeting place in Europe
- Livat Hammersmith is anchored by IKEA UK’s first small store, as well as local start-ups, pop-ups and food outlets run by local entrepreneurs
24 February 2022 - Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group (which also includes IKEA Retail and Ingka Investments), today officially opens Livat Hammersmith, a new space for residents, Londoners and visitors to come together to have fun, to experience new things, and to eat and shop. The launch comes two years after Ingka Centres confirmed an investment of £170 million to acquire and redevelop the existing Kings Mall, located on the main high street of Hammersmith, into a lively ‘meeting place’ complete with atrium and new offerings.
Hammersmith’s new meeting place will be the first in Europe to carry the Livat brand. Livat means ‘a lively gathering’ in Swedish - reflecting Ingka Centres’ belief in offering communities fresh ways in which they can connect with like minds, discover new ways to shop, to eat, to work and have fun exploring everything a vibrant local area has to offer.
Livat Hammersmith’s interior has been brought up to date, with contemporary new interior design inspired by Ingka Centres’ Scandinavian roots and additional spaces for relaxing and socialising. An iconic feature of the meeting place is the new atrium that provides a sheltered spot at the heart of Hammersmith where visitors can chat with friends or simply read a book.
Ingka Centres’ Managing Director, Cindy Andersen, commented: “We know that our visitors and the wider community want more spaces in which to meet, shop, socialize and work which are fun, human and eco-friendly. Livat Hammersmith will offer just that.
“Our urban meeting places have been designed to reflect the needs of those living in city centres, with more regular visits and fewer journeys by car. This new vibrant offer provides places where everyone feels welcome and will be encouraged to come more often to explore amazing experiences while supporting the local community and the planet.”
The new meeting place is anchored by a new, small IKEA store. The innovative store is the first time IKEA home-furnishing accessories will be available to buy on the UK high street, with the full range available for delivery. The store has been designed around the needs of those shopping in city centres, with a free-flowing layout and the Swedish Deli positioned at the edge of the store to allow busy commuters to ‘grab and go’.
Alongside the new IKEA store, inspired by the creativity of the people of Hammersmith, the meeting place will offer a lively programme of events and pop up outlets to provide the community with different ways to spend time together. It will offer a bookable ‘pay-by-the-hour’ adaptive retail space operated by Sook, giving the local community affordable access to an exciting new destination designed for people to meet, connect and shop with a variety of different businesses. Livat Hammersmith includes space for local startups, pop ups and food outlets run by local entrepreneurs, and is home to a number of other retail offerings, including Lidl, Sainsbury’s, H&M and Primark.
Ingka Centres is committed to contributing to the global effort to tackle climate change, and Livat Hammersmith aims for all of the common and communal areas to be powered by 100% renewable energy. An all-new interactive ‘Library of Things’ opening later in April will make sustainable living an easier choice for the many. This community-powered enterprise will help visitors save money and reduce waste by affordably renting useful household items.
The launch of Livat Hammersmith is a significant milestone in Ingka Centres’ €5bn global expansion, following the opening of four new meeting places in China, as well as the recent unveiling of plans for India. A second urban meeting place is already in development at 945 Market Street in lively downtown San Francisco.
Andersen concludes: “Across our global meeting places, I have been humbled by how our communities have pulled together to overcome the challenges of the pandemic. As we look to the future, what is clear to us is that the desire to meet and connect in real-life has never been stronger, and I am confident people are eager to embrace new experiences such as those on offer from today at Livat Hammersmith.”
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