IKEA becomes part of the furniture on Oxford Street
November 10th, 2021, Stephan Shakespeare

IKEA becomes part of the furniture on Oxford Street

On October 26, IKEA announced that it would be taking over the location of the former Topshop flagship store on Oxford Street, London. While it may be too early to say whether it was worth the reported £378m investment, data from YouGov BrandIndex UK shows that the move has got the public’s attention.

Word of Mouth scores – which measure whether Britons have spoken about a brand in the past two weeks – rose from 16.6 to 26.0 (+9.4) between October 25 and October 30. And the news has done more than just spark conversation.

Over the same period, Impression scores for IKEA, a measure of overall perceptions of a company, rose from 41.6 to 53.9 (+12.3), and the chain’s Reputation scores – which track whether consumers would be proud or embarrassed to work for a particular retailer – shot up from 19.6 to 33.2 (+13.6).

News of IKEA taking over the location even seems to have had a direct short-term impact on metrics such as Consideration – which saw a +14.1 increase from 39.6 to 53.7 between October 25 and October 30 – and Purchase Intent, which rose from 10.1 to 17.0 (+6.9). Recommendation scores also saw a sizable jump from 36.3 to 48.0 (+11.7).

The previous tenants of the Oxford Street store left a long shadow: when the Topshop flagship closed earlier this year, it sparked a range of emotional recollections from consumers. There have also been concerns that the store’s lack of dedicated parking will have consumers dragging MELLTORP tables and KALLAX shelves home via the Central Line – although the new store is set to have an emphasis on home accessories, with the full range available via delivery. Regardless, Britons seem keen to buy some furniture and eat some meatballs on Oxford Street.

This article originally appeared in City A.M.