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IKEA Announces Plans For Midwestern Distribution Center

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IKEA, a leading home furnishings retailer, announced plans for an approximately 1.4 million-square-foot distribution center on 72 acres at the Laraway Crossings Business Park in Joliet, IL, south of Chicago. This Midwestern Distribution Center will allow IKEA to receive goods in Joliet by rail, to manage its inventory and to distribute product to stores throughout North America, with a focus on IKEA stores in the Midwestern United States. The project will consist of a 650,000 square-foot facility to be operational as early as Spring 2009. The plans also allow for a potential expansion of approximately 770,000 more square feet should the storage capacity be necessary. Besides jobs created during construction, approximately 150 coworkers will join the IKEA family when this Midwestern Distribution Center opens. Additionally, IKEA will provide property tax revenue for local governments and schools. Goods received in Joliet will reflect the nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items currently sold at all IKEA stores. With more than 1,300 suppliers in 54 countries around the world, IKEA globally transports products to its stores through regional distribution centers. This Joliet Distribution Center will provide the primary inventory to IKEA stores in the Midwest: Bloomington, MN; Canton, MI; and Bolingbrook and Schaumburg, IL; and one planned to open next year in West Chester, OH. The facility also will be able to supply other stores across the country as needed – and will provide the means for transporting goods across the country via rail so goods from Europe can be received on the East Coast and be distributed to western stores and vice versa with goods via Asia. “We are thrilled about the opportunity to locate our Midwestern Distribution Center in Joliet,” said Keith Keller, IKEA North America’s Distribution Services president. “This location’s proximity to rail line offers the long-term capacity, infrastructure and geography that we were seeking to complement our distribution presence in North America, and to ensure our stores can continue to offer well designed and functional home furnishings at affordable prices.” There currently are more than 250 IKEA stores in 34 countries, including 40 in North America (29 in the U.S., where other stores are being planned in: Brooklyn, NY; Draper, UT; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; Somerville, MA; Sunrise, FL; and West Chester, OH.) Other distribution centers in North America include facilities in: Bristol, PA; Brossard, QC; Perryville, MD; Tejon, CA; Vancouver, BC; and Westampton, NJ. Other facilities are being built in Savannah, GA and Tacoma, WA. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered a wide range of home furnishings and accessories of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of the people can afford them. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” List (three years in a row), Working Mother magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” (four years in a row) and Training magazine’s annual “Top 125” ranking of companies that excel at human capital development (five years in a row). IKEA incorporates environmentally and socially responsible efforts into day-to-day business, and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. To visit the IKEA Web site or for information about working at IKEA, please go to http://www.IKEA-USA.com.

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