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FIRST CUSTOMER AWAITS IKEA FONTANA GRAND OPENING

 FIRST CUSTOMER AWAITS IKEA FONTANA GRAND OPENING
 FONTANA, Calif., March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- With the grand opening


still nine days away, John Paul Weatherwax has positioned himself as the first customer in line to enter the newest IKEA store in Palm Court at Empire Center in Fontana.
 For his efforts, Weatherwax will receive all of the merchandise pictured in the room setting in the cover of the IKEA 1992 catalog, valued at approximately $3,000. Weatherwax, who lives with friends in Rialto, Calif., and plans to give the furniture to his grandmother, said he "first heard about the contest when he received a catalog and read about Darryl Hardt of Monterey Park, the winner of the IKEA Burbank opening." He then proceeded to contact Hardt to "get the scoop" on the contest. A former marine who teaches wilderness skills and is known for his gourmet campfire meals, Weatherwax arrived at the Fontana store five days ago with his state-of-the-art camping equipment (and 68 volumes of National Geographic to help pass the time) and prepared to hunker down.
 The IKEA grand opening is slated to begin Wednesday, March 18 at 9 a.m. In addition to the grand prize claimed by Weatherwax, IKEA is offering a "Tulka" IKEA custom sofa to the second person arriving, as well as a "Poem" easy chair and footstool to the third lucky customer. The next 100 customers each day of the five-day grand opening celebration will also receive a free gift.
 At the conclusion of the grand opening celebration, IKEA will be holding a drawing for a grand prize of a 1992 Volvo 240 station wagon. Second prize will be a trip for two to Sweden, provided by Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) and the Swedish Tourist Board, plus $1,000 spending money from IKEA. Third prize is a "Halland" buffalo leather sofa.
 Fontana is the 101st location for IKEA, the largest furniture retailer worldwide and the company's eighth in the United States. IKEA's first West Coast location, in Burbank, opened in November of 1990, and attracted more than 2 million visitors in its first year of operation. Upwards of 100,000 visitors are expected during the five-day grand opening celebration in Fontana.
 -0- 3/9/92
 /CONTACT: Cynthia Neiman, 818-842-4532, or Gail Blumenfeld, 714-823-1444, both of IKEA/ CO: IKEA ST: California IN: REA SU:


KJ-CH -- LA032 -- 6634 03/09/92 18:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 9, 1992
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