IKEA! IKEA! IKEA!
I used to pass by the IKEA store nearly every day when I lived in the suburbs of Oslo, Norway (the store that was only the world's 2nd IKEA store ever after the first one in Älmhult, Sweden...and yes, Oslo had IKEA two years before Stockholm, Sweden!)
IKEA is such a cool company. Did you know that IKEA charters planes from Tromsø, Bodø and Harstad in northern Norway for shoppers to fly down to Trondheim to shop at IKEA?
And I thought it was great that they had a bus from Manhattan (where I lived for two years) to the Elizabeth, NJ IKEA.
Once while on a vacation to Los Angeles, I went shopping at IKEA and wrote in their guestbook that I wished they would open an IKEA in Utah. Before I even arrived home from my trip, they had mailed me a letter thanking me for my comments in their guestbook and said they were forwarding my request to their real estate manager. How nice that they not only responded to me, but that a letter from IKEA was waiting for me on my return from vacation!
Rumors of an IKEA in Utah have been swirling and fomenting for years and finally reached a fever pitch in the past few months. Every day I would look up the local newspaper online expecting to see news of IKEA coming to Utah. Yesterday, the news was finally in the Salt Lake Tribune:
"Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA, which has been scouting the Wasatch Front for its first Utah location, appears to have found a site for a new store in Draper near the intersection of Interstate 15 and Bangerter Highway.
The commercial real estate industry is abuzz with news that the company, the world's largest home furnishings retailer with more than $18 billion in sales a year, is purchasing nearly 40 acres of prime commercial property with freeway visibility at approximately 13350 S. Pony Express. In fact, those with knowledge of the deal say the transaction could close within weeks, which would pave the way for a new store within a couple of years.
Commercial brokers say a new Ikea store would raise the state's profile among retailers nationally, perhaps even attracting other retailers that don't yet operate here."
Another retail store that I've been looking forward to here, the Apple store, is opening at the Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, 19. November 2005.
Now if only we could get Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters and maybe Hennes & Mauritz to open stores here... oh and Crunch gym. Then we'd be set.