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IKEA Appoints Richard Castanon Manager of Future Charlotte Store

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IKEA, a leading home furnishings retailer, announced the appointment of Richard Castanon as store manager for its future store on track to open Spring 2009 in Charlotte, NC. It will be the Swedish company’s 1st store and restaurant destination in the Carolinas, 5th in the Southeast, and 36th in the United States. Until the 356,000 square-foot IKEA Charlotte opens, customers can shop at stores in Atlanta, GA; and Woodbridge, VA; or at www.IKEA-USA.com. Other stores in the Southeast are located in Orlando, FL and Sunrise, FL, with a store opening Summer 2009 in Tampa, FL. “We are very excited about opening a store in the Charlotte area, where there are many IKEA customers as well as others who may not know us yet but are anxious for us to open,” said IKEA North America president Pernille Lopez. “Richard’s retail experience, and expertise launching new stores, has prepared him for managing this store in Charlotte.” “IKEA recognizes the strong customer base for us in the Carolinas, so I am pleased about providing these 150,000 customers with a store of their own,” Castanon said. “Also, I look forward to introducing new customers to our unique family-friendly shopping experience and wide selection of stylish, functional and affordable home furnishings.” Castanon, who relocated to the Charlotte-area from California, started at IKEA Burbank, California in 1991 as a furniture showroom manager after previously serving as store manager at a local Los Angeles-area furniture store. Then, in 1996, he managed an external service provider that specialized in assembly and installation of IKEA products for IKEA customers. Castanon returned to IKEA in 2002 as the build-up project leader responsible for the multi-million-dollar outfitting and launching of new IKEA stores in: East Palo Alto, CA (2003); Tempe, AZ (2004); Frisco, TX (2005); West Sacramento, CA (2006); Draper, UT (2007); and most recently Brooklyn, NY this past June. Under construction on 25 acres in the University City area, at the northeastern corner of I-85 and City Boulevard, IKEA Charlotte will present 50 different room settings, three complete model homes, a supervised children’s play area, and a 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries or salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store. IKEA Charlotte also will offer services such as home delivery, furniture assembly, kitchen installation and in-store consultations. Additionally, IKEA Charlotte means job creation, with 400 coworkers joining the IKEA family when the new store opens. Candidates interested in working at this employer of choice should look online (www.IKEA-USA.com) for all positions available at the future IKEA Charlotte store, where they soon can apply for diverse positions available in: home furnishings sales, interior decoration, customer service, safety and security, cashiers, maintenance, goods flow, receiving, warehouse and stock replenishment. Also, setting itself apart from other retailers, IKEA Charlotte will offer – among the 400 total positions to be hired for the store – approximately 70 food service opportunities in its Restaurant, Swedish Foodmarket, Café Bistro and coworker cafeteria. There currently are more than 280 IKEA stores in 36 countries, including 35 in the United States, where other new stores are being planned in Centennial, CO; Somerville, MA and Tampa, FL. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered a wide range of home furnishings 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 100” ranking of companies that excel at human capital development (five years in a row). IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly and socially responsible efforts into day-to-day business, and continually supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. For more information about IKEA, and about working at IKEA, please go to www.IKEA-USA.com.

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