Ikea checks out Cork in possible expansion plans

Swedish furniture retail company Ikea is scouting locations in Cork for a new store. The company has opened its first Irish click and collection store in Carrickmines, Dublin, and has confirmed developing an outlet in Cork is part of its national plan.

“The opening of our Ikea Dublin Carrickmines order and collection point is just the first step in our expansion plan in Ireland,” said an Ikea spokesperson.

“We are continuing to explore opportunities outside Dublin, including Cork and other locations.”

The Irish Examiner has learnt that representatives of Temple Bar Management Company, a company acting on behalf of Ikea Investment Properties Ltd, had two meetings with senior officials in Cork County Council over the summer to discuss the proposal.

Council chief executive Tim Lucey, director of planning, John O’Neill, and Andrew Hind, one of the council’s most senior planners, attended the meetings in County Hall.

The talks were described as “general discussions” about a proposal to build and operate an Ikea store in the Cork region. It is understood the talks centred on identifying potential sites in the county with suitable zoning and development status to facilitate an Ikea store.

Members of Mallow Town Council met Ikea in 2010 to suggest possible sites around the north Cork town as a location for a new store.

However, it is understood the company wants to build its third Irish store close to Cork City, with sites in Little Island, and Carrigtwohill among the front runners.

The company, which opened its first store in Ballymun in Dublin in 2009, needs large sites with excellent access to the national road network.

The massive 31,500sq m Ballymun outlet, equivalent to five and a half soccer pitches, is one of Ikea’s best performing European stores, and recorded sales of more than €2m a week during its first year of operation, making €11.4m profit in its first full year.

Order and collection points are a new retail format being trialled by Ikea in some countries.


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