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IKEA Plans Southeast Distribution Center

By Home Furnishings Business in on January 2006 IKEA is working on a new 1.7-million-square-foot distribution center in Savannah, Ga., that will allow the Swedish retailer to receive product at the historic city's port.

The company said the center will allow it to manage inventory and distribute product to stores throughout North America, but it will focus on stores in the southeastern part of the U.S. Phase one of the project will include 785,000 square feet and will be in operation by summer 2007.

IKEA plans to expand the building by 975,000 square feet after phase one is running. The center will employ about 150 people when both projects are complete.

The retailer said the center will provide inventory to IKEA stores in the Southeast and Texas, and can supply other stores across the country as needed. IKEA stores to be supported by the center are in Atlanta; Frisco, Texas; Houston, Texas; and a planned store in Round Rock, Texas.

"We are thrilled about the opportunity to locate our southeastern distribution center at the Savannah International Trade Park," said Keith Keller, IKEA North America's distribution services president. "As one of the fastest growing ports in the country, Savannah offers the long-term capacity, infrastructure and geography that we were seeking to complement our distribution presence in North America. A Savannah-based distribution center will help IKEA ensure our stores continue to offer well-designed and functional home furnishings at affordable prices."

With more than 225 stores in 33 countries, IKEA currently is expanding its presence around the world by opening new stores. In North America, IKEA is opening between three to five stores a year. In addition to the new store in Texas, the company plans to open stores in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Canton, Mich.; Draper, Utah; Dublin, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Somerville, Mass.; and West Sacramento, Calif. IKEA has six other distribution centers in North America.

In Britain, the Sweden-based retailer is opening 10 stores.

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