Home furnishings retailer IKEA reported that it expressed its appreciation to the City Council of Merriam, Kansas for its unanimous approval last night of plans for a Kansas City-area store – increasing the Swedish retailer’s presence in the Midwestern United States. Last month the plans received unanimous approval by the Merriam Planning Commission. Pending the land purchase, permits and demolition of on-site buildings, construction of the future IKEA Merriam can begin Summer 2013, and open Fall 2014. Until then, customers can shop at the closest IKEA stores in Centennial, CO; Frisco, TX; Bloomington, MN; Bolingbrook, IL; or Schaumburg, IL; or online at IKEA-USA.com.
Located eight miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri, the 349,000-square-foot future IKEA store will be built along the eastern side of Interstate-35 at the Johnson Drive exit on 18 acres to be purchased from DDR Corp. One level of parking below the store, a two-level parking structure, and spaces accessible at-grade will provide more than 1,200 parking spaces on-site. Store plans reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. IKEA also is evaluating potential on-site power generation to complement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at 90% of its U.S. locations.
“IKEA is thrilled and honored at the support voiced by Merriam City officials and staff in favor of our opening a Kansas City-area store in Fall 2014,” said IKEA U.S. president Mike Ward. “We look forward to bringing our unique shopping experience closer to the 60,000 customers already in the area, to introducing new customers to the IKEA concept, to hiring 300 coworkers and to creating more than 500 construction jobs.”
IKEA Merriam will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store. In addition to the more than 500 jobs that are expected to be created during the construction phase, approximately 300 coworkers would join the IKEA family when the new store opens. IKEA Merriam also would provide significant annual sales and property tax revenue for local governments and schools.
IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. Globally, IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating environmental measures into the actual buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling and using only LED bulbs. IKEA also is in the process of rolling out solar energy installations atop nearly 90% of its U.S. locations, and has installed electric vehicle charging stations at nine stores in the West.
IKEA strives to be ‘The Life Improvement Store,’ and since its 1943 founding in Sweden has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 330 IKEA stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives benefiting children and the environment. For more information, go to IKEA-USA.com
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