Ikea issued a public apology last week after it emerged that over 100 of its UK customers were charged twice for the same transaction.

A BT network outage on Thursday 21 July reportedly caused a fault on the furniture retailer's payment service platform, resulting in 102 duplicate transactions taking place in stores across the UK.

Commenting last week, Donna Moore, Ikea UK & Ireland's customer relations manager, said: "We are actively working with the payment service provider to rectify these transactions as quickly as possible so that those affected will have the duplicate payments released back to them by their banks.

"We apologise for any inconvenience that this caused and if any of our customers are concerned they are welcome to contact us to discuss the matter."

Last year, The Co-op Food inadvertently charged some customers twice due to a "processing error", and since then the company has revamped its payments and security strategy by outsourcing these areas of its business operations to ACI Worldwide.

The problems at Ikea came just days after the opening of its first new UK store in seven years, which was unveiled in Reading on 18 July.

Ikea's Thames Valley shop is the company's 19th in the UK, and it marks the start of what is expected to be a significant period of growth for the Sweden-based business.

Within the last 12 months, the retailer has opened two new smaller format 'Order and Collection Points', in Norwich and Aberdeen, with three more stores of this type planned for Birmingham, London and Dublin this summer.

Ikea UK & Ireland country manager Gillian Drakeford commented: "We also have planning permission for a new store in Sheffield and outline planning permission to build stores in Greenwich and Exeter.

"This all form parts of our plans to make Ikea more accessible to more people and today is an important milestone."