North-West Ashton under Lyne, 1/3 mile

Huge retail store organised as a sequence of living spaces


image of ikea

Get there

Public Transport: Tram stop ‘Ashton‐under‐Lyne’ only 2 mins walk. Bus/train 8 mins—(see image). Private Transport: Carparks on the 4th floor (covered) and 5th floor (uncovered). Access by a long ramp. Can overflow at exceptional times.


When this store was built, some said it was IKEA’s first in a city centre—silly …Ashton‐under‐Lyne is not New Ancoats Street or Deansgate. However the city had an effect. Manchester IKEA is only half the floor‐size of the biggest IKEA stores in the world. But IKEA built upwards, so the Manchester store is 5 floors high. The top two floors are carparks. The showroom area is floor 3, with parts of floor 2 and 1 to end. Also, IKEA adapted and built the showroom as an extended maze—Manchester IKEA is one of the only stores with this layout. I walked the main flow, and measured anywhere between 1.5 and 2 miles. Sofas, sink‐taps, paper‐lights, can openers, room after room. To finish, the self‐serve flatpack warehouse. And a small cafe ‘bistro’. People come from all Lancashire. Supply glitches can cause infrastructure overload (no blame, I say). You fancy an afternoon in a museum of the future? With vegetarian meatballs? This is it.