IKEA: What went wrong?

IKEA in Norwich is to close

IKEA closing in Norwich has come as a shock to many Ian West/PA Wire - Credit: PA

On the surface Norwich seems the perfect hunting ground for Swedish homeware behemoth IKEA.

By and large the city and the surrounding area is fairly affluent. 

There is no close-by urban competitor for footfall. 

And everyone loves meatballs, right? 

Wrong, it seems.

The shock news that the Norwich branch - a collection store but with a reduced range also on sale and a cafe - is to close has been blamed on not meeting its "sales and profitability targets".

The first UK IKEA - in Warrington in the north west - opened in 1987 and people actually camped out for days to be among the first inside. 

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Nothing like it had been seen on these shores before. Flat-pack furniture at these types of prices was unheard of and a revolution began.

The simple lines. The clean surfaces. The Billy bookcase. 

The range was straightforward and effortless. It was even deemed 'cool'. 

And so it remains. Pre-pandemic IKEA enjoyed a record £12.6bn annual profit worldwide. 

But why bother with the hassle of the car and the queues when IKEA can now come straight to your door via your phone? Order a new sofa from your old one online. 

There is bad news though - the meatballs are currently only available in store.