press release
COUNTDOWN TO IKEA OPENING DAY BEGINS: ONLY 118 DAYS TO GO!

Leading home furnishings giant, IKEA, today announced it is to open its Belfast store on Thursday 13th December.

The announcement was made by store manager Paul Reid at the store’s ‘Topping Out’ event, marking a major milestone in IKEA Belfast’s construction.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Jim Rodgers OBE, was in attendance as the last skylight was placed on the Holywood Exchange building, which will cover an equivalent area of five and a half football fields.

At 29,000 sq meters, IKEA Belfast will be one of the Swedish retailer’s flagship stores and will stock the full range of IKEA products totalling 9,500 items. The Belfast store will be the first IKEA in Ireland – north and south – and IKEA Belfast’s store manager Paul Reid says the opening is a much anticipated event.

“IKEA Belfast’s opening date has been a burning question for several months now and we are very pleased to announce that IKEA will be open for business on Thursday 13th December. IKEA has a passion for style, functionality and value for money which will no doubt be well received by the public.”

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Jim Rodgers OBE, said, “IKEA’s arrival is great news for Belfast and indeed for Northern Ireland. The fact that Belfast is attracting companies as iconic and global as IKEA reflects how far we have come over the years. I am delighted to welcome IKEA to Belfast and look forward to the opening in December.”

The IKEA Belfast store will open at 10am on Thursday 13th December, 2007. The two storey building will feature a first floor showroom where customers can view over 55 fully furnished room and home layouts.

IKEA’s popularity was clearly demonstrated in its recent drive for co-workers when over 11,000 attended the IKEA Belfast recruitment weekend at Esporta Health Club.

For further information on IKEA, log on to www.ikea.co.uk/belfast .

Ends

Media contact: Kathryn Kirk, JPR, kathryn.kirk@jprni.com or 028 9076 0066, mob 078 3404 9137

Notes to editors:
• Planning permission for IKEA Belfast was granted on 21st December 2006.
• ‘Topping-out’ signifies a stage in the build where the building is completely covered.
• IKEA Belfast will employ 400 people with a further 100 people employed in outsourced services.
• IKEA calls its employees “co-workers” which IKEA believes better reflects how the company sees people and their values.
• IKEA is written in capitals
• Construction of the IKEA Belfast store is managed by PCM Management. Contractors include Fermanagh based company Fisher Engineering who secured the steelwork contract. Corus who will provide roof decking. Metecno will be responsible for wall cladding and Tarkett will supply all the internal soft flooring. Loading dock equipment will be supplied by Hormann whilst transformer and switch gear which will be provided by SEBAB. These supplier contracts have all been part of IKEA’s European frame agreements.
• Local Holywood company Graingers is supplying Kingspan insulated roofing panels and will install the cladding and roofing, whilst glazing has been sourced from Omagh Aluminium. The new IKEA store will feature a methane protection zone underneath the floor providing a ‘clean air blanket’ and removing any methane gases from the building.

Friday 17th August



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