IKEA, the world's leading home furnishings retailer, will announce plans on Tuesday morning for a Columbus store.
The proposed IKEA Columbus would be the first such store in Central Ohio and 2nd in the state, complementing the Swedish company's Cincinnati-area presence established in 2008 with a store in West Chester, OH.
Located in the Polaris Centers of Commerce development, approximately 15 miles north of downtown Columbus, the 354,000-square-foot proposed IKEA store and its 1,200 parking spaces would be built on 33 acres at the northeastern corner of Interstate-71 and Gemini Place.
Store plans reflect the same unique architectural design for which IKEA stores are known worldwide. IKEA also will evaluate potential on-site power generation to complement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations.
"We look forward to continue growing our Midwestern U.S. presence with IKEA Columbus," said IKEA U.S. CEO Rob Olson. "This location in such a vibrant retail corridor would provide our already 155,000 Columbus customers their own store and introduce the unique IKEA shopping experience to other consumers throughout Central Ohio and beyond."
IKEA Columbus 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.
Other family-friendly features include a 'Children's IKEA' area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking. 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 Columbus 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. 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. U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights, and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 selling only LED bulbs.
IKEA U.S. has electric vehicle charging stations at 13 stores, solar arrays atop 90% of its locations, and plans for 104 wind turbines. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA 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 360 IKEA stores in 47 countries, including 40 in the U.S. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE's annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, Working Mother magazine's annual list of "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" and Training magazine's annual "Top 100."
IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.
There are only 40 IKEA stores in the U.S., with the closest locations in: West Chester, OH, Pittsburgh, PA; and Canton, MI; or online at IKEA-USA.com.