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Ikea sets sights on St. Louis

Conshohocken, Pa. - Ikea plans to come to St. Louis with a 380,000-square-foot store that will open in the fall of 2015, the Swedish retailer announced yesterday.
Store officials said they have submitted plans to the city for the proposed store, which would be built along the northern side of Interstate 64 near the Vandeventer Avenue exit. It would be on nearly 21 acres in the Cortex Innovation District, a technology community created to commercialize the benefits of university and regional corporate research in St. Louis.
The store would increase the company's presence in the Midwest, where the closest Ikeas to St. Louis are two stores in the Chicago area. In addition, a Kansas City area store is under construction and on track to open in fall 2014 in Merriam, Kan.
"We look forward to continue growing our Midwestern U.S. presence with Ikea St. Louis," said Ikea U.S. President Mike Ward. "This dynamic location would provide the already 101,000 St. Louis-area customers a store of their own and introduce the unique Ikea shopping experience to other consumers in eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and beyond."
The company said it will evaluate potential on-site power generation to complement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations.
Ikea St. Louis would 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.
The project is expected to create more than 500 jobs during construction and 300 permanent retail jobs, the company said.
Ikea has more than 340 stores in 42 countries, including 38 in the U.S.

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