LONDON--Ikea Group is rethinking its consumer PR approach in the UK, and has begun a search for new agency support.

The Swedish home furnishings and food retailer currently works with Cake Group. Cake will not be repitching the consumer account, but retains social media duties.

"We were together with Cake for four years, so it's due diligence to look around the marketplace," Ikea PR manager Meera Shah told the Holmes Report. "We've got changing demands as a retailer in terms of the way we are working with PR."

Shah added that the company is seeking a "strong press office", along with better integration with marketing and digital.

“We’re exceptionally proud of all the work we’ve done with them," said Cake head of PR and social Michelle Charles. "We’ve won six awards including a Cannes Lion. Unfortunately they’ve got changing business needs from their end so they are looking at their PR and the agency that supports that.”

Last month, Ikea halted the sale of meatballs and sausages sold in the UK and other countries, because of concerns about horse-meat contamination. The wider food safety scandal began in Ireland in January and has since spread across Europe, affecting numerous retailers and producers.

However, Shah said the new agency search was not linked to the food safety scandal, which has been handled by Ikea's in-house team, with Cake providing social media support. 

Ikea is the world's largest retailer furniture retailer and has worked with Cake on some eye-catching UK campaigns, including the award-winning Big Sleepover programme.

The company currently operates 18 stores in the UK, and grew national revenues by 6.3 percent in its most recent fiscal year, to £1.23bn.