'Brilliant' Public Response to Hammersmith's New Livat

Owners delighted by success of King Street's transformed shopping mall

The new look shopping centre in Hammersmith
The new look shopping centre in Hammersmith

Ingka Centres, the property arm of IKEA and owners of King Street's new Livat are celebrating the centre's success, two months after its launch.

On 24 February, Hammersmith's dowdy, down at heel Kings Mall was reborn as Livat, after undergoing a £170 million redevelopment, to offer colourful new interiors, upgraded facilities and of course, its own small format IKEA, which is a far cry from those vast inescapable out of town warehouses, and makes the Swedish store an actual pleasure to visit.

Livat, say the owners, is a Swedish word meaning a 'lively happening' or 'a bustling gathering' and two months on, the mall has lived up to its name, becoming a busy hub at the heart of Hammersmith, with an array of budget friendly stores, including Lidl, Wilko, Primark, H&M and Sainsburys.

Natalia Petalina, Meeting Place Manager at the centre says, “Our aim for the Livat Hammersmith has always been to create a vibrant community destination that provides a place for people to come together to have fun, experience new things, eat and shop - and it's been brilliant to see so many visitors from the local community and beyond enjoying the meeting place since our opening.”

Imaginative new seating areas have been provided
Imaginative new seating areas have been provided

Patricia Bench, Director of Hammersmith BID, the company which aims to improve the town centre, adds, “ We have all been excited about this arrival which has already seen a fabulous boost for the local economy in these post pandemic times and is a great addition to Hammersmith's high street.”

Among the improvements to the mall are much brighter flooring and lighting and the addition of comfortable seating areas, including the benches inside and outside IKEA's' Swedish deli. The stairs to the first floor have also been opened up, with cushioned seating on the central steps, and there is a new coffee shop on the first floor, with seating inside and outside on the sunny raised courtyard.

Another very welcome improvement has been to the toilets, formerly used only by the very desperate and now transformed into Livat's lovely loos.

There has been a much needed upgrade to the centre's toilets

As well as shops, banks and a branch of the gym chain Frame, Livat is offering a range of events from its gala opening ceremonies to Hammersmith BID's month long pop-up zero-emissions market, showcasing work by local artists and producers.

The market will return on Sunday 1 May - this time outside in neighbouring Lyric Square. Inside the centre meanwhile, IKEA and H&M are teaming up to launch Atelier 100, a store and 'ideas factory' offering products from local designers and artists from next month.

Creators have a last chance to apply to become part of Atelier 100 this weekend - find out more on the website https://www.atelier100.com/.

Local companies can also hire their own pop-up space adjacent to IKEA, bookable by the hour from rental agency Sook.

In June, another nearby space will be filled by the borough's first Library of Things, which will offer customers a chance to hire a range of useful items, ranging from tents to carpet cleaners, at a low cost.

And while the centre has suffered one recent loss, with the closure of fashion store New Look, the owners say they are in discussions with a new tenant, and a new opening is planned by summer.

Livat's Natalia says, “ The strong footfall figures we have enjoyed are a real reflection of visitors' desire for a new type of retail experience, reflecting real lives.

“ We're pleased to have welcomed a host of new stores to the meeting place, and aim to have 100% occupancy by autumn this year. We look forward to working with our partners to continue this success into the future, providing a thriving hub for the local community and economy."

Sheila Prophet

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April 22, 2022