IKEA UK has opened a 452,000 sq ft distribution centre in Dartford, Kent, operated by Wincanton. The new facility will enable faster, more sustainable home deliveries across London. The launch marks latest milestone in ongoing London expansion, as IKEA seeks to enhance accessibility and convenience for UK customers.

IKEA UK has today opened a new 452,000 sq ft customer distribution centre in Dartford, Kent. As the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, the new multi-million-pound facility will enable faster, more sustainable home deliveries to IKEA customers in London and the southeast of England. 

Located at the former Littlebrook Power Station site near the Dartford Crossing and M25, the new distribution centre is conveniently placed on the border of London to deliver almost one million orders annually – with many reaching customers within 24 hours of an order being placed. Today, almost every second IKEA purchase in London takes place online. The launch of the new distribution centre will also result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, being closer to customers. 

By 2025, 100% of IKEA customer orders in London will also be delivered by electric vehicles. To enable this, IKEA will install 28 rapid HGV chargers at the distribution centre, to power up HGVs while loading and unloading IKEA goods in under an hour. Additionally, 60 overnight chargers are set to be installed. 

Investment in the new distribution centre is the latest milestone in IKEA’s ongoing London expansion, through new city stores, the development of existing stores and new fulfilment and delivery capabilities – supporting ambitious plans to make shopping at IKEA in London more convenient and sustainable than ever before. 

Jakob Bertilsson, County Customer Fulfilment Manager, IKEA UK, said:

“In London, we are opening new IKEA stores, investing in our fulfilment network, and offering new services, to meet more people where they live, work and socialise. Establishing a distribution centre in the region is a hugely exciting and significant step in our investment in London, as well as a continuation in our omnichannel strategy to support customers in however they choose to shop with us. 

“We want people to enjoy the IKEA experience, no matter where they choose to engage with us, whether visiting our stores, home planning, or online. The distribution centre will enable this, by increasing availability of our products and reducing lead times. It also builds on our ambitions for 100% zero emission ‘last mile’ deliveries for 2025, a critical component of our sustainability strategy.” 

With a storage capacity of 35,000 m3 – equal to over 77,000 flatpack BILLY bookcases – the enormous distribution centre is capable of housing up to 9,000 different products, spanning across almost every product in the IKEA range. The launch of the facility has created over 300 jobs and is operated by British logistics firm and longstanding IKEA service provider, Wincanton.

James Wroath, CEO at Wincanton, added:

“Wincanton is excited to play such a key role in the transformation and expansion of IKEA, who will benefit from our unrivalled expertise and proven operational excellence in eFulfilment. We are looking forward to further strengthening our partnership to achieve our shared goals of meeting IKEA’s customers’ needs quicker than ever before.” 

Separately, Wincanton has awarded a significant IKEA distribution centre fit-out contract to Glencar in Ireland.

The project will include the fit-out of an existing 280,000 sq ft warehouse unit, together with their new office space and associated civil engineering works.

The project also incorporates the fit-out of their new office space, sprinklers, racking, the installation of a new security hut and all associated civil engineering works. The works commenced in April and overall is expected to take 22 weeks, with practical completion expected towards the end of September 2023.

Commenting on the appointment Rory McGillycuddy, Country Director of Glencar’s Ireland division said:

“Our offering in Ireland and the UK continues to advance rapidly with Glencar recently being appointed to several fit-out projects, in addition to entering new markets such as the Data Centre and Ports sectors to supplement our core market of Industrial and Logistics delivery.

“For this scheme in Dublin, we are working closely with our special projects division that specialises in fit-out works across Great Britain. This project underpins our continued growth in Ireland, collaborating with existing major partners that we work with in the UK, as well as new customers in the Irish market.

“As specialists in the Industrial and Logistics sector, the knowledge and expertise we have developed in the past seven years in the UK, transfers itself perfectly to support the needs of a growing number of occupiers in Ireland requiring complex construction, fit-out and commissioning works.

“We look forward to working with Wincanton in Dublin and will deliver this facility to their exacting standards.”

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