Oregon's first IKEA store opens this summer

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

 

IKEAPortland.jpgAn artist rendering of the Portland Ikea store

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a Swedish superstore

PORTLAND — Do you know the colors of Sweden’s flag? If you’ve been out to the Portland International Airport recently there’s a hard-to-miss sign — so tall it requires red warning lights for planes and so big its legality was questioned— offering a hint.

The blue and yellow sign proclaims the site of Oregon’s first Ikea store, opening this summer. The Swedish purveyor of nearly 10,000 different household items is a $22.1 billion company with 250 stores in 34 countries.

Ken Bodeen, originally from Hermiston, was hired as the store’s manager in March and says Ikea will attract shoppers from around the state. An “Ikea vacation” may sound strange until you consider that 50,000-70,000 people from the Portland/Vancouver metro area visited Ikea’s only other northwest store, in Renton, Wash., last year.

Each Ikea store is the same around the world, meaning Portland’s 280,000-square-foot store will have a children’s play center, three complete model homes, 50 room settings and a 25-seat restaurant specializing in Swedish delicacies. Ikea’s food market will offer a take-home selection of edibles, including those famous meatballs.

Don’t worry about brushing up on your Swedish, though; the 400 employees, nearly all from the Portland metro area, are more likely to say “Welcome” than “Välkomemen.”

— Colleen Moran

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