IKEA Ireland is opening a major distribution centre in Rathcoole, County Dublin today (17 April), which will be operated by Wincanton, with deliveries carried out by XPO Logistics.

The new facility will remove the need to dispatch deliveries to Irish consumers via IKEA’s UK distribution centres, resulting in customers having one of the shortest delivery times in Europe - just three days.

IKEA said the facility marks a ”significant milestone” in the company’s expansion within Ireland and will create over 200 jobs.

The vast facility is over 27,000 square metres, has a storage capacity of 20,000 cubic metres and is capable of housing up to 9,000 different product lines, spanning across almost every product in the IKEA range.

IKEA expects the distribution centre to be making more than 300,000 deliveries in the first year of operation, with that figure almost doubling to nearly 600,000 within five years. Eventually the plan is to be able to deliver up to three million items a year from the centre.

Jakob Bertilsson, IKEA Ireland and UK country customer fulfilment manager, said: ”The opening of Ireland’s first IKEA distribution centre will greatly benefit our customers through faster and more reliable deliveries.

“It marks a key step in our ambitious expansion plans across Ireland. We remain committed to – and are continually investing in – the future of our physical store in Dublin, but we want people to enjoy the IKEA experience no matter where they choose to engage with us, whether through our full-size store, plan and order points, or online.

”This new distribution centre will greatly enable this, by increasing availability of our products and reducing lead times,” he added.

Minister of State for business, employment and retail, Emer Higgins TD, said: “IKEA’s new distribution centre in Rathcoole will provide a boost for the local economy, creating 120 new jobs.

”It is also positive news for its customers, significantly reducing IKEA’s delivery times and enhancing accessibility for its Irish customers.

”This state-of-the-art facility is also a testament of IKEA’s unwavering commitment to sustainability. This building is one of the most energy efficient logistic facilities in Ireland and will support IKEA’s transition to 100% zero emission deliveries by August 2025.

”There is no doubt IKEA’s dedication to become climate positive sets a commendable standard for the entire retail industry.”

The opening in Dublin comes almost one year after IKEA opened it 452,000 sq ft customer distribution centre in Dartford, Kent – which created 300 jobs and is capable of delivering almost one million orders annually across London and the South East of England.

The Dublin facility is one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient logistics facilities in Ireland, IKEA said. It has a Building Energy Rating (BER) of A2 and includes features like rainwater harvesting and roof-based solar panels.

IKEA is also transitioning to exclusive zero emission home deliveries, which together with locating the distribution centre closer to its customers, will result in significant reduction in CO2 emissions and more sustainable deliveries.

From today, customers with Dublin Eircodes will receive their home deliveries in zero-emission vehicles. IKEA has committed to ensuring all deliveries to customers across Ireland will be exclusively in zero-emission vehicles by August 2025.

As the first step to advance towards this goal, 17 electric vans will deliver IKEA goods across the country, with the number of zero emissions vehicles doubling by August 2025.

As of now, two zero emission vehicles will be based in Cork, two in Athlone, four at the Ballymun store, and nine at the new distribution centre. These 17 zero emission vans will replace diesel delivery vehicles, resulting in an estimated annual saving of 283,000 litres of diesel, equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 750 tonnes per year[i].

To support the transition to zero emission deliveries, IKEA has established an extensive electric vehicle charging network at the distribution centre, comprising of three rapid charge points for quick top-ups and 20 overnight charging points for full recharges.

IKEA’s 8MW wind farm near Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, will also support the retailer’s transition to zero-emission deliveries and use of 100% renewable energy to power the distribution centre and IKEA’s flagship store in Ballymun, Dublin.

It is projected that the wind farm produces about twice the amount of electricity required by the new distribution centre and the Ballymun store.

To secure even more renewable energy for the future, Ingka Investments, the investment arm of the company, has invested in a 10GW offshore wind project portfolio in Ireland and UK.

Marsha Smith, IKEA Ireland and UK deputy chief executive, said: ”The opening of this new distribution centre not only demonstrates IKEA’s desire to become more accessible to our customers in Ireland, but also our commitment to sustainability and innovation.

”IKEA is committed to the Paris Agreement and to helping limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. By transitioning to zero emission deliveries and having an energy efficient distribution centre, we are playing our part in protecting the planet, and taking another significant step in our journey to becoming a climate positive business,” she added.

James Wroath, Wincanton chief executive, welcomed the opening of the Dublin facility. He said: ”Wincanton is excited to mark this key milestone in the expansion of IKEA in Ireland, who will benefit from our unrivalled expertise and proven operational excellence in eFulfilment.

”The opening of this new, state-of-the-art distribution centre just outside of Dublin further strengthens a partnership focused on our shared goals of meeting IKEA’s customers’ needs quicker than ever before.”

Deliveries will be carried out by XPO Logistics. Dan Myers, XPO Logistics managing director for UK and Ireland, said: “This is a huge milestone for IKEA in what is an important market for the business.

”The investment is a demonstration of IKEA’s confidence in Ireland. As a long term partner, we are committed to working together to create a better everyday life for many people which is also sustainable and aligned with our combined environmental commitments.”