IKEA to open Riga store

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Swedish retailer IKEA is to open a store in Riga next year, it was announced January 31.

The first IKEA furniture store in Latvia is scheduled to open on the outskirts of Riga in August 2018, with investments in the store planned at €60 million, Sigurdur Palmason, a representative of the company, said at a news conference January 31.

Construction of the IKEA store is to begin in the region of Stopini, just outside Riga, in the spring of 2017, and the store has to be completed in about one and a half years. It is expected that around 300 builders will be involved in the construction project.

The IKEA store in Latvia will be situated around eight kilometers to the east of Riga city center. This will be a regular IKEA store with a parking lot for more than 1,000 vehicles and 34,500 square meters of floorspace.

In the future, total investments in the property might exceed €100 million Palmason said.

Palmason noted that by its size the IKEA store in Riga will be slightly larger than the already existing store in Vilnius, but that the assortment of products will be roughly the same in both stores. A children's area in the IKEA store will include baby care rooms, playgrounds and family parking facilities.

The IKEA store in Stopini will provide jobs to some 400 people, with the selection of employees expected to begin already in a few months' time.

Palmason and Riga mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony party) signed a cooperation agreement on the local authority's planned support for the launch of the store, which involves adjustments to transport infrastructure.

Usakovs said that the location of the would-be IKEA store was chosen by the company's representatives. The Riga City Council had offered land plots next to Lucavsala and Riga International Airport, but the developers preferred the location in Stopini.

The Riga mayor indicated that this is the first time that the local authority has provided €500,000 financing for transport infrastructure upgrades, which are necessary to ensure a smooth connection with the new store.

IKEA's only store in the Baltic countries at the moment opened in Vilnius in 2013.

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