IKEA is to open a series of smaller stores in UK – prompting speculation Aberdeen could finally get its own branch.
The Swedish furniture giant is to trial a scaled-down version of its store, allowing customers to order and collect items.
The first store of its kind will open in Norwich in the autumn.
The news comes after Aberdeen Donside MSP Mark McDonald asked the firm to look again at building a shop in the city.
IKEA chief Gillian Drakeford last considered a North-east store in 2011 but Mr McDonald said rising population and the opening of the AWPR bypass in 2017 made Aberdeen even more attractive.
Mr McDonald has asked for a fresh feasibility study of the region.
He said: “Soon there will be no missing pieces when it comes to assembling Aberdeen’s business case for an Ikea.”
An IKEA spokeswoman said: “Over the next year, IKEA will test three Order and Collection Points in the UK, exploring slightly different formats in each selected market and using this as an opportunity to find out more about how customers want to shop with IKEA in these areas. The first Order and Collection Point will open in Norwich this Autumn. We will confirm the other two locations in the coming months.
“Regarding the locations, we are exploring potential locations across the UK for the next two test formats but have not yet secured sites for these.”