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IKEA grows in Northeast

IKEA is looking to grow its reach in the Northeast, doubling the size of its stores in Woodbridge, VA, and Philadelphia, as well as acquiring land in Maryland for a future location.

The Swedish home furnishings and accessories retailer recently bought more than 45 acres in College Park, MD, at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Route 1, and construction will begin next March on the future 350,000-square-foot store.

IKEA is still in the preliminary stages of planning for the College Park store, but wants to open the location in July 2003.

Its new location in Woodbridge, VA, which opens on Nov. 28, is double the former's size at 300,000 square feet and sits on 10.6 acres of land. In addition, its merchandise assortment has swelled 43 percent, for a total of 10,000 furnishings and accessories. One thousand of those products, new to the catalog, will also be available at the new store.

The new IKEA Woodbridge will feature three full-model homes, each representing a different life situation, such as a single parent with two daughters, a bachelor pad and a growing family. The store will be the first Northeast location to offer above and below ground parking, as well as two customer pick-up loading areas. Inside, the store has wider shopping aisles, 28 cash register lanes and customer elevators. Children will be able to visit Smäland, which resembles a typical Swedish farmhouse.

In the Philadelphia market, the new IKEA is slated to open in late summer or early fall next year, in Conshohocken, PA. Situated on 23.6 acres that is already zoned for retail, the new location will be twice the size of the current unit, located here. At 340,000 square feet, the two-level store will also have 75 room displays and three full model homes, wider aisles, an elevator and a children's play area.

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