Ingka Centres has announced the purchase of a small mall located in Toronto's heart, Canada's largest city.
Private equity firm KingSett Capital previously owned the Aura Retail Podium mall. It occupied the first three floors of the 79-story multi-purpose Aura skyscraper, built-in Toronto in 2014 and located in the bustling Downtown Yonge neighborhood, known for its many store's entertainment venues. The mall has an area of 12,270 square meters. The purchase price was not disclosed.
The first two floors of Aura Retail Podium will reportedly be repurposed as a 6,148-square-meter IKEA store, which is expected to open in late 2021 or early 2022. It will be similar to the traditional brand's stores that customers worldwide are already used to, but smaller in size and designed to fit the area's overall spirit. The company will release more details at a later date.
The IKEA Toronto Downtown Store will feature thousands of items available for both pickup and home delivery. Also, shoppers will be able to pick up their online orders closer to home at eleven Penguin Pick-Up locations across Toronto.
Recently, IKEA stores have been gradually moving from the suburbs to the downtown area. It is happening against the backdrop of increasing city size, becoming increasingly difficult to travel far from homes. For this reason, the company is increasingly looking for suitable premises that are close to the main streets as possible. Smaller stores already operate in major cities like Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, and New York.
King's Mall in London and 6x6 in San Francisco were also recently acquired and will feature stores. The Aura Retail Podium Mall will be Canada's first urban location. But it will not be the first IKEA in the country (there are already four in the Greater Toronto Area conglomeration alone). IKEA Canada began operations in 1977.
According to Cindy Andersen, who serves as managing director of Ingka Centre, the purchase of Aura Retail Podium is in line with its strategic vision to "invest in urban areas and be closer to customers." Michael Ward, CEO of IKEA Canada, left a similar message, stating that the company "aims to become more accessible by bringing its stores closer to where Canadians live, work and socialize."
Ingka Centres is part of the Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores worldwide. Today, the company already owns 46 stores throughout Europe, Russia, China, and the United States.
Photo credit: depositphotos.com, Ingka Centers.