LONDON Furniture retailer IKEA Group [IKEA.UL] said it would create more than 1,300 new jobs in Britain, a major investment in the UK as the country prepares to exit the European Union amid signs that the market for home improvement is showing resilience.
Ikea said it would open new stores in Sheffield in northern England later this year and Exeter in the south west and Greenwich in London in 2018.
The new jobs will increase the company's workforce in Britain and Ireland by 12.5 percent to about 11,700, the company said on Wednesday.
"As we continue to expand, we're delighted to bring investment to new areas across the country and create new opportunities for local communities," said Gillian Drakeford, Country Retail Manager for IKEA UK and Ireland.
Ikea joins the likes of Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) in boosting its job numbers and investment in Britain since last year's referendum decision to leave the European Union.
There had been concern ahead of the vote that choosing to leave the EU would hurt the UK economy and delay investment decisions.
In November, IKEA said that it had grown in the UK for a fifth consecutive year, and other home improvement firms have released similarly resilient results.
Last month Travis Perkins (TPK.L) and kitchen seller Howden Joinery (HWDN.L) said that business had stabilised and customers were withstanding price rises, even as signs of a customer slowdown has hit other parts of the market.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout, editing by Louise Heavens)