Sat, Jan 14, 2006 - Page 10 News List

IKEA unveils mega-size concept store

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Swedish home furniture retailer IKEA unveiled its mega-size Taipei County concept store yesterday. The store, which is still under construction, will be the first IKEA outlet in the world over three floors in height.

"We want to construct big stores to differentiate ourselves from our competitors," said Justine Yao (姚以婷), marketing director of IKEA Taiwan, after a tour of the construction site in Sinjhuang City (新莊), Taipei County.

Representing an investment of NT$1.5 billion (US$47 million), the outlet, comprising four floors above ground and three underground, represents a move away from IKEA's policy of constructing only two- or three-floor high buildings.

The store occupies 17,000-pings (56,100m2) of floor space and will include between 50 and 55 showrooms.

Scheduled to open in June, the store will be the nation's largest home furnishing outlet and Yao said she expects that Taipei County's 1.2 million families will benefit greatly from the store's wide range.

IKEA will open its fourth store in the latter half of the year in Kaohsiung and has a near-term goal of opening six stores by 2009.

This expansion comes despite the fact that government data showed that spending on home furnishings shrank last year to NT$74.5 billion from NT$78.5 billion in 2004.

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