Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pssst, Ikea is coming to Denver

Normally I don't like to spread rumors, but I've confirmed this one from two sources so I'm hoping it's true. Yep, Ikea in Denver. I've been hearing this rumor for about 3 years.

We're originally from Philadelphia where Ikea was a big player in our lives. Now my husband works in Sweden and we feel like we're roughing it without Ikea in Denver--not really, but well sort of. So when we got off the plane for our vacation in Portland, OR the entire family screamed, "They have Ikea here!" Kinda sad I know that Ikea got more whoops than Mt. Hood, but we see mountains everyday.

Anyway, the plans for a Denver store haven't made it to the Ikea website, so no date has been set. The 400,000-square-foot store would be located just to the west of Interstate 25 between Dry Creek and County Line Roads, not far from Park Meadows Mall. There is still a long approval process for the store to happen such as public hearings. It could be a year before ground is broken. Once that happens it will take 18 months to build the facility. So we're probably looking at 2.5-3 years before a grand opening.

Ikea's presence in Denver will be a boon to the economy. Trust me, when the first Philadelphia store opened people came from miles away to shop. The store was so crowded everyday for years that another was finally opened. I'd expect that people from Wyoming, southern Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska will be trekking for the cheap Swedish style. Yep, if we build it they will come shopping.

Plus the store will create jobs. Ikea will hire 400 employees and employ 500 workers for construction. And contribute to retail sales tax. The only downer is that Ikea stores are behemith boxes that sport giant yellow and blue signs.

And if you are looking to start your own small business take a tip from the Swedes. Next to every Ikea are one or two assembly shops. If you've ever tried to put together furniture with picture instructions and allen wrenches you know how frustrating this is. I don't know anyone who thinks this if fun, do you? So these assembly shops are just as busy as the Ikea stores.

For now I'll have to sit patiently and give my husband a break--He won't have to smuggle chairs into his luggage anymore.

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