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Ikea Canada drops plans to open store in London, Ont.

An Ikea sign is seen in Dartmouth, N.S., on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
An Ikea sign is seen in Dartmouth, N.S., on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Ikea will no longer be pursuing plans to open a store in London, Ont.

In a statement emailed to Global News on June 2, Ikea Canada spokesperson Kristin Newbigging said: “We have now made the difficult decision to no longer pursue the acquisition of land in London.”

“We will not move forward with plans to build a store in the region,” she added.

The company had planned to open a full-size retail store in south London by the end of 2019 but put that plan on pause in July 2018, citing a “rapidly changing retail environment.”

READ MORE: Ikea Canada closing pickup and order locations effective Jan. 29

“We appreciate the support we’ve received from the local community over the years and have had a very positive experience working with the city and our community partners over the past several years,” Newbigging explained.

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“Our decision to no longer pursue the acquisition of land is due the rapidly changing retail landscape and shifting expansion priorities for Ikea moving forward. These are the primary reasons.”

When asked if the current novel coronavirus pandemic played any role in Ikea’s decision-making, Newbigging explained that the company “really took a long-term approach to the decision.”

READ MORE: Ikea released its famous Swedish meatball recipe. Here’s how to make it

Newbigging said, looking forward, Ikea Canada will focus on “enhancing our digital tools, improving our local service offer and introducing new, more affordable ways to shop with Ikea.”

The announcement also comes nearly five months after Ikea Canada closed the doors of its five remaining pickup and order point locations in Kitchener, London, St. Catharines, Whitby and Windsor.