Thursday, 27 November 2008

Are We Going to be a "Big Pond"?

This was on CBC radio yesterday and this item was in today's Free Press.
"Ikea coming to town maybe, in few years

WINNIPEG appears to be next in line in Canada for an Ikea home furnishings store, but don't expect one to spring up here for a few years at least, a company spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The Swedish-based retail giant has identified a parcel of land for development in the city, but it hasn't purchased it yet, Ikea Canada's Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick said from Burlington, Ont.
"It is very premature for us to say anything at this point," she said, and there is no timeline for a Winnipeg here.
"Yes, there is a piece of land that we are interested in, but there is no deal signed on it and we have not purchased the land," Lowenborg-Frick said. She would not say what part of Winnipeg the company has its eyes on.
Winnipeggers have longed for decades for an Ikea store -- huge outlets that carry furnishings and accessories for every part of the home -- but until now they've had to order products by catalogue.
Lowenborg-Frick said Wednesday the city is now a priority for a new store in Canada.
"It is the market that we are taking the most serious look at right now for expansion," she said.
Local developer Sandy Shindleman, president of Shindico Realty Inc., said an Ikea could take 30 acres or more of land. To put that into perspective, Polo Park Shopping Centre complex, excluding the expansion areas that Shindico is working on, is about 40 acres.
Shindleman has followed the Winnipeg-Ikea saga for at least 25 years. "If I had all my money back from my long-distance charges (from) calling Ikea, I could probably buy a three-room group there when they open," he quipped.
Shindleman said he believes that "it's likely a question of when, not if" a store will materialize in the city.
He said potential locations include Kenaston Boulevard, the east side of town or on the northern outskirts, near the capital region's booming bedroom communities.
Premier Gary Doer said Wednesday the provincial government and the city have been meeting Ikea for some time, and he hinted the province may have offered some incentives to lure the company."

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