Is IKEA coming to Halifax? Retail giant to make announcement Friday
Published Wednesday, January 20, 2016 10:46AM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 20, 2016 7:20PM AST
IKEA Canada is set to make an announcement in Halifax on Friday, prompting rumours that the Swedish retailer plans to open a store in the city.
The furniture giant issued a news release Wednesday, confirming IKEA Canada President Stefan Sjostrand and Halifax Mayor Mike Savage will be present for the announcement.
“I think it's welcome here in the Halifax area, I think it's about time,” said one Halifax resident.
The mayor’s office confirmed to CTV News that IKEA Canada is making an announcement Friday, but wouldn’t provide any further details.
“I think that would be kind of cool if that was to happen, but I don't work at IKEA, I work here in the city,” said Savage. “We look for investments from all kinds of people, and signs of confidence in our economy, so I await that with bated breath.”
The announcement is set to take place Friday morning at the St. Mary’s Boat Club.
The boat club declined to comment on the matter, saying it could neither confirm nor deny any bookings.
There are currently no IKEA stores in the Maritimes, although the retailer’s first North American store opened in Dartmouth in 1975. It closed in the late 1980s, with the company citing a too-small market.
“We're at about 520,000 to 525,000 now, so we're at a pretty good base to support an IKEA store,” said NSCC business instructor Ed McHugh.
McHugh feels a store like IKEA could help boost the region’s economy.
“What you will have is people from outside of Halifax, Dartmouth, Sackville, Bedford area who will drive to Halifax for a shopping trip, and IKEA will be certainly one of them,” he said.
Michael Smith owns a company that picks up IKEA products in Quebec and Ontario, and delivers them to customers in the Maritimes.
“I could probably do a trip every five days,” said Smith.
He's been making that drive once a month, but it likely won't continue if Halifax gets a store. Smith wonders about the city's plans to support the store.
“I think it's going to put a lot of pressure city infrastructures, so it's very important the kind of planning that goes around this, and I'm just hoping that's being considered,” said Smith.
In November, IKEA Canada announced plans to expand from coast-to-coast, doubling in size by 2025.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Caitlin Andrea.