The Gemini Retail Park lies around 2 miles north of Warrington town centre. It is perhaps best known for being the site of the first IKEA store in the UK.
Other stores here include Marks and Spencer, Boots, Next, Toys R Us, Porcelanosa, and Arnold Clark (cars).
IKEA is the most popular store here. It attracts customers from across North West England. The car park seems to be full no matter what time of day or night it is.
The large blue warehouse offers everything needed to furnish a home. Their product range includes sofas, dining tables and chairs, beds and mattresses, wardrobes, kitchens, office furniture, storage boxes, shelves, lighting, mirrors, rugs, bedding, textiles, and more. Everything for sale here is stylish, modern, and reasonably priced.
Most people visiting IKEA will leave with more than they intended to buy. A designated route takes customers past virtually every product on sale. The store has no windows so it is easy to lose track of time. It takes some discipline not to be tempted by their clever merchandising.
IKEA also has a decent restaurant. Popular choices on the menu include Swedish meatball, lamb shank, and the English breakfast. Prices are reasonable but signing up for IKEA membership brings cheaper deals and benefits such as free tea and coffee.
IKEA also offers a Swedish food market selling cheese, salmon, pickles, and preserves. Cheap hotdogs and milkshakes are also tempting.
IKEA Warrington is open every day of the week. Opening times (at the time of writing – 2021) are Monday to Friday 10 am to 10 pm, Saturday 11 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.
IKEA’s other store in North West England is at Ashton-under-Lyne near Manchester. Plans to open a store in Preston were abandoned in 2018.
Marks and Spencer also have a large store at the Gemini Retail Park. The ground floor sells menswear, womenswear, children’s clothes, and beauty products. It is also home to the store’s excellent food hall. The first floor is smaller and offers furniture and household items.
The Next store at Gemini Retail Park is well worth a visit. It has two sections; one sells furniture and garden products, and the other clothes for men, women, and children. There is a Costa coffee outlet within the furniture section. Other Next stores in Warrington can be found at Golden Square and the Riverside Retail Park (clearance store).
Other businesses at Gemini Retail Park include a McDonald’s restaurant and a petrol station.
Gemini Retail Park runs along Europa Boulevard. All stores have their own car parks. Visitors arriving by car should exit the M62 at Junction 8 or 9. Satellite navigation owners can use the postcode WA5 7TY to find IKEA, Boots, Next, and Arnold Clark.
The 17 bus service goes to Gemini Retail Park. Buses travel a circular route around Warrington and Birchwood. Stops include Warrington Bus Interchange, Warrington Central Train Station, the Westbrook Centre (for the Odeon Warrington), Gemini Retail Park, and Birchwood Train Station.
Apollo Park is a smaller development just west of the Gemini Retail Park. It is home to a Travelodge hotel plus plenty of places to eat and drink (Subway, Harvester, Frankie and Benny’s etc.).