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IKEA opening

IKEA, the multinational home furnishings retailer, opened its newest UK store last month, Thirty-plus security officers from the guarding and other services contractor Kingdom were on hand.

IKEA’s 19th UK store, IKEA Reading, at Theale officially opened to the public on Thursday, July 14. An opening carried on over four days until the Sunday. Other events ran in the days leading up to the opening, including for VIPs on the Monday and a friends and family day on the Tuesday, making effectively an opening week.

Less than two weeks before that opening week, Kingdom was asked if they could supply an events team of 35 officers per day for seven days to provide security for the week’s events.

Kingdom’s John Barrett, Business Manager for the South, said: “Operationally it is no small task to get 35 officers and a management team in place at short notice for a seven day period, but Kingdom did it and received glowing commendations from their client for their officers’ professionalism and engagement. Once again this showed that Kingdom can achieve great things, even at very short notice. It also demonstrated the importance of the IKEA contract to us and the importance of effective leadership, which the security industry overlooks at their peril.”

After the opening, IKEA’s Deputy Country Risk Manager, Christian Featherstone, said: “I am immensely happy with the service provided by Kingdom last week. Throughout the week and after your team performed impeccably. To an individual, I witnessed a high level of competence as well as an excellent level of engagement and customer service. I was very pleased to see a high level of personal presentation and attendance and it is clear to me that without the Kingdom team the opening would not have been the great success that it was”

Kingdom, which has a dedicated retail division, provides retail security to all of IKEA’s UK stores (including Belfast, pictured), and two distribution centres. The nationwide, north-west-based security, cleaning and environmental protection company first started providing security services to IKEA in the UK in 2010 alongside three other security companies. In 2014 it was announced that Kingdom would be the sole security provider to IKEA in the UK. Kingdom describes its security service for the retailer as tailored specifically to match the IKEA work ethos, and includes manned guarding teams, mobile patrol, key holding, customer service and reception teams plus loss prevention and return on investment analysis, for a rertailer known for its attention to cost control, operational details, and continuous product development.

Further activities, workshops, games and product demos are happening at IKEA Reading throughout July and August for all ages to take part in. Visit http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/store/reading/homepage for more information.


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