After a long wait, the Swedish home design and furniture maker Ikea opened its second store in Israel this week. Ikea’s new store, which is located in Israel’s fourth largest city of Rishon Letzion, is the chain’s biggest store in the Middle East. Following the success Ikea has enjoyed at its first branch, which opened in the city of Netanya nine years ago, the second branch will offer the same 7,500 furniture products which are for sale at its Netanya store.
The mega store in the Maayan Soreq area, in Rishon Letzion, which is located in the metropolitan Gush Dan region stretches over 34,000 square meters (about 366,000 square feet). From the entrance of the store to the cashiers shoppers are guided along a 2 kilometers shopping route separating one end of the store from the other through 46 designed showrooms and a large warehouse-style storage center at the end. Ikea invested about half a billion shekels in the new branch. Ikea Israel said that the new store’s location was selected due to its accessibility to residents of central Israel, Jerusalem and southern Israel through two major highways.
The opening day of the new store on March 9 attracted 3,500 shoppers in the first hour alone and throughout the day some 15,000 curious visitors entered the doors. More than 2 million shoppers are expected to visit the Rishon Letzion store in 2010, generating revenues of approximately NIS 310 million for the chain.
In addition to the household design and furniture products, the store prides itself for offering amenities suited for the convenience of families with children of all ages. In the store visitors can enjoy a break at the 500-seat kosher restaurant, representing one of Israel’s biggest restaurants in Israel, where some 2,900 people are expected to dine daily, eat at its falafel stand or shop at the Swedish-food store.
Eager shoppers and visitors will enjoy ample parking opportunities as the store has 1,400 parking spaces, and much moving flexibility with its seven elevators, three escalators, a small cinema, and wheelchair access.
The management at Ikea Israel has high hopes for the new Rishon Letzion store to be a great success and expects the branch’s revenues to reach NIS 1 billon or around $260 million within three years. Ikea is already planning the next step for a third outlet in Israel, which can be expected to be built between Haifa and Akko to serve residents of Haifa and northern towns.
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