|national press releases|
1ST IKEA FACTORY IN U.S. OPENS IN VA AS GOVERNOR, LOCAL OFFICIALS, COMPANY REPRESENTATIVES WELCOME SWEDWOOD FACILITY, 200 JOBS
Contact:Joseph Roth 610-834-0180,x6500
DANVILLE, VA, May 21, 2008 – Swedwood, the industrial group within IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today opened its first factory in the United States in Danville, Virginia. The 10:30 a.m. ceremony included Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, local government officials, and Swedwood and IKEA representatives, as well as the raising of the U.S., Swedish and Virginia flags, and a traditional Swedish log-sawing ceremony, which brings good luck to a new home.
The 930,000 square-foot Swedwood furniture manufacturing facility was built on 209 acres in Cane Creek Centre, a joint industrial park for the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County (approximately 50 miles north of Greensboro, NC). The factory is the Swedish company’s first furniture production location in the United States, and will produce a variety of wood-based IKEA products such as EXPEDIT bookshelves, LACK coffee and side tables, and BESTÅ modular entertainment systems. More than 175 coworkers now have joined the IKEA/Swedwood family.
“We appreciate the support we have received by Danville, Pittsylvania County and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Bengt Danielsson, North American president of Swedwood. “The Swedwood coworker family in Danville is thrilled about contributing to the state and local economies and about producing IKEA home furnishings right here in the U.S. that are sold at affordable prices to IKEA customers throughout North America.”
“IKEA is proud to be bringing some of Swedwood’s overseas manufacturing to the United States,” added Pernille Lopez, North American president of IKEA. “We are pleased that, especially in this uncertain economic time, IKEA both can plan for the future needs of its growing number of stores and also invest in Virginia’s furniture manufacturing industry.”
In addition to Governor Kaine’s keynote, brief remarks were given by Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chairman Coy Harville, Danville City Manager Jerry Gwaltney and Swedwood International’s Chairman of the Board Bruno Winborg. Honorary flag-raisers included Danville Mayor Sherman M. Saunders for the U.S. flag, IKEA Woodbridge (VA) acting store manager Maria Moore for the Swedish flag, Pittsylvania County Supervisor James Snead for the Virginia flag, and Pittsylvania County Administrator Dan Sleeper for the Swedwood flag.
Founded in 1991 as an IKEA subsidiary, Swedwood is an industrial group of companies whose primary function is to manufacture and distribute furniture. Swedwood today has evolved into an IKEA supplier with advanced production facilities of its own, including more than 45 production units and offices in twelve countries on three continents, and a staff of more than 16,000. (There also are 1,300 other suppliers in 54 countries to IKEA globally.)
There currently are more than 275 IKEA stores in 36 countries, including 34 in the U.S. and 11 in Canada. Other new stores in North America will open in: Brooklyn, NY; Charlotte, NC; Somerville, MA; and Tampa, FL. IKEA also has seven distribution centers in North America, with a northwestern distribution center opening later this year in Tacoma, WA.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered a wide range of home furnishings and accessories of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of the people can afford them. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list (three years in a row), Working Mother magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” (four years in a row) and Training magazine’s annual “Top 100” ranking of companies that excel at human capital development (five years in a row). IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly and socially responsible efforts into day-to-day business, and continually supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. For more information about Swedwood and IKEA, please go to www.Swedwood.com and www.IKEA-USA.com.