Ikea to open new store in the South West
Swedish furniture retailer Ikea has identified the site of it's first store in the Westcountry, according to reports.
The homeware giant's search for a site for a major new outlet in Exeter, bringing with it some 300 jobs, has been well documented in recent years.
Yesterday Ikea said it was "unable to comment" amid reports that a site close to the M5 had been earmarked following a meeting between councils and the company.
The BBC reported the new store, with a floor area of some 20,000 square metres, would be based near the home of the Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park. It could open in two years' time, depending on the planning process.
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Steve Pettyfer, property manager for IKEA UK and Ireland, said: "IKEA has been identifying sites around the country for potential stores, including the South West of England.
"We have worked with Exeter City Council to identify a number of locations that could be suitable in the Exeter area.
"However, these discussions are continuing so we are unable to comment further at this point in time."
It's thought that Ikea, which says it offers "well-designed, functional home furnishing products" at low prices, could submit a formal planning application within a month.
The firm's nearest store is currently in Bristol.
Derek Phillips, of Exeter Chamber of Commerce, told the BBC: "This is very good news for Exeter and demonstrates its pre-eminence as a retail destination of the South West."