IKEA, a leading home furnishings retailer, expressed its appreciation to the Charlotte [NC] City Council for the body’s approval today of a proposed IKEA store for the Carolinas – increasing the Swedish retailer’s planned presence in the Southeastern United States. This City Council approval today follows a Zoning Committee recommendation last month to approve plans for the store.
Pending permits, construction of the future IKEA Charlotte can begin in Spring 2008, with a possible opening in Spring 2009. Until then, customers can shop at IKEA Atlanta, at IKEA Woodbridge (VA), or online at www.IKEA.com. (IKEA stores will open Fall 2007 in the South Florida city of Sunrise and in Orlando, and also Summer 2009 in Tampa.)
“IKEA is thrilled and honored at the support voiced by the Charlotte City Council in favor of our opening a store in the area in two years,” said Michael Maier, real estate manager for IKEA. “While we already knew many in the area were IKEA customers, the outpouring of interest since we announced our plans – plus this approval by the City – makes us feel so welcome.”
The plan approved in a unanimous city council vote allows IKEA to build a 345,000-square-foot store, with 1,700 parking spaces, on 25 acres off I-85 at the City Boulevard exit in the northeastern Charlotte community of University City. The future IKEA Charlotte will reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide.
Besides offering nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, IKEA Charlotte will feature three model homes, 50 room settings, a supervised children’s play area, and a 300-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features will include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store.
“We are glad to contribute to Charlotte’s reputation as a retail destination, just as much as it already is a banking center,” continued Maier. “Beyond the jobs and tax revenue IKEA will generate, we are pleased the City recognizes our commitment to become an active community member. We also look forward to enhancing the retail offering in the University City area.” In addition to creating 500 construction jobs, IKEA Charlotte will employ approximately 400 coworkers when the store opens.
There currently are more than 250 IKEA stores in 35 countries, including 29 in the U.S., where other U.S. stores are being planned in: Brooklyn, NY; Draper, UT; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; Somerville, MA; Sunrise, FL; Tampa, FL; and West Chester, OH.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered a wide range of home furnishings and accessories of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of the people can afford them. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” List (three years in a row), Working Mother magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” (four years in a row) and Training magazine’s annual “Top 125” ranking of companies that excel at human capital development (five years in a row). IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly and socially responsible efforts into day-to-day business, and continually supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. To visit the IKEA Web site or for information about working at IKEA, please go to http://www.IKEA-USA.com.
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