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IKEA Home Furnishings Opens Its Largest Store In the Western Hemisphere In Chicago

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The "City of Big Shoulders" will get a little bigger this November as IKEA, the world's top home furnishings company, opens its 400,000 square foot store. Touted as the Swedish furniture giant's largest retail facility beyond Scandinavia, IKEA Chicago will provide area residents with a one-stop shopping destination for all of their home furnishings needs. IKEA's newest store will be located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, and will celebrate its grand opening on November 18, 1998. Octagonal in shape, the store will feature three levels, all showcasing the high-quality furnishings, tremendous selection, great prices and customer-friendly atmosphere that have become IKEA's trademark. Some store highlights include: three full homes, 40 living rooms and 20 bedroom settings for customers to browse through, a 350 seat restaurant, and a "Ballroom" where children can safely play under supervision. "At IKEA, our mission is to create a better everyday life for the majority of people," said Jan Kjellman, President of IKEA North America. "The way we do this is by providing quality home furnishings at prices the majority of people can afford. And, no where are we better suited to doing this than in our new Chicago store. Quite simply, it has everything for the home under one really big roof." Flat packing and a partnership with consumers are just two of the elements which enable IKEA to deliver on its mission. Because items such as tables and bookcases are packaged in flat boxes --shipping costs, storage space and damage to goods is greatly reduced. This, combined with consumers' willingness to complete simple assembly steps at home, enables IKEA to provide substantial savings on top-notch furnishings. IKEA Chicago's second and third floors will contain the Showroom, where customers can view the furniture in more than 100 complete room settings, including living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, home offices and more. These top floors will also contain the Marketplace, housing thousands of accessories and decorative items to complement IKEA furnishings. The store's lower level will house IKEA's Self-Serve Warehouse, where customers can collect the items they have selected. "Our company prides itself on offering high-quality furnishings for every life stage," said Kjellman. "That means that within the Chicago store, there will be home furnishings for everyone -- whether just starting out, starting a family, or starting over after kids have gone to college." In addition to home furnishings, IKEA Chicago will also include a variety of elements aimed at enhancing the shopping experience. The store will feature several eating options, including the 350 seat restaurant and a Swedish Food Market, offering traditional foods and other items from IKEA's homeland. For families, IKEA Chicago will offer the children's "Ballroom," in addition to complimentary strollers, bottle warming and a Baby Care room. And, to make moving around the vast store as easy as possible, IKEA Chicago will provide numerous escalators in lieu of stairs. "More than just a store, IKEA Chicago has been designed as a destination -- a place where people can spend hours having fun and shopping," said Kjellman. "There's a lot more than just furniture here -- in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some people came out to the store just to view its size and unique design." IKEA Home Furnishings has 142 stores worldwide and 12 in the United States. IKEA Chicago will be located at 1800 East McConnor Parkway, Schaumburg, Ill. 60173.

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