Ikea have announced plans to close their experimental ‘planning studio’ store on Bromley’s high street, just over a year after it first opened.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the furniture giants said the Bromley branch wouldn’t reopen later this month after failing to meet performance targets.

Labelled a ‘planning studio’, the Bromley unit was a cut-down version of Ikea’s full-size retail sheds and was part of an experimental push to test different retail formats.

Opening in March last year, it was one of two planning studios in London and offered a personalised planning service for bedrooms and kitchens.

Cllr Peter Morgan, Bromley’s executive councillor for renewal, recreation and housing, expressed disappointment at the closure of the store.

“We were very proud that Ikea chose Bromley as one of only two places in the UK to trial this experimental store. I am sorry the experiment did not succeed in either place, but Ikea’s  choice of Bromley is a testament to the vibrancy and success of our town centre,” he said.

“We have been in contact with business representatives and plans to support the re-opening of the town and other town centres too are underway, with the social distancing message key to this.”

Ikea said the closure is unrelated to the Covid-19 pandemic and was specific to the unit and its location, adding that it’s other planning studio location at Tottenham Court Road was performing well.

According to Ikea, the Bromley unit “provided the retailer with valuable insights”, but the format “does not match customer need in the area”.

“Despite a number of actions taken to address this, the unit has not met its performance targets,” Ikea said in a statement.

The company said they would seek to retain as many of the 15 employees at the site as possible.

“Although Bromley remains an area of interest to Ikea, its location favours impulse buys and is less suitable for those shopping for bigger purchases, like kitchens,” Ikea said in their statement.

Gary Pearce, the market manager of Ikea UK and Ireland added: “We are incredibly thankful to the co-workers at Ikea Bromley who have contributed enormously over the last year, and our hope is that as many as possible will continue their career journey with us”.