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IKEA COVERS LOS ANGELES

 LOS ANGELES, Calif., Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- The following was released by IKEA:
 Today, Wednesday, November 18, IKEA, the unique home furnishings store from Sweden, will open in Carson, its fifth store in the Los Angeles area. This opening, its fourth in 1992, concludes IKEA's Southern California expansion plan and fully covers the Los Angeles marketplace.
 IKEA's entrance into Southern California, in November of 1990, came at a time many major retailers were beginning to feel the effects of the tightening economic conditions. In the two years since IKEA's arrival, the hard economic times have forced major companies like RB Furniture, BIF and Barker Brothers out of business and many others, like Ortho, into bankruptcy.
 Add to that the fact that Los Angeles is one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world and it certainly can be said that such an entrance would have a considerable risk factor. This makes IKEA's aggressive expansion even more remarkable.
 What drove the IKEA expansion? Actually, the very fact that Los Angeles is such a competitive market, IKEA knew they had something to offer the consumers -- quality and value. While it may have been an especially tough year for Los Angeles, IKEA still feels that the needs and aspirations of the people here are no different than anywhere else -- everyone wants to live a better life.
 Still, most would consider it a big gamble for a retailer. However, the Swedes from IKEA were up to the challenge.
 When considering Los Angeles, IKEA decided that they needed to blanket the Los Angeles area so that there would be an IKEA store less than an hour's drive from anywhere in the five county Los Angeles trade area. With existing stores in Burbank, Fontana, Tustin and City of Industry, this last store in Carson completes that task.
 And how is IKEA faring? Between East and West Coast operations, IKEA reports $337 million in sales in FY 1992 (ending August 31). What's truly remarkable about that number is that it is up 19 percent over FY 1991. IKEA U.S. also reports that it had 9 million visitors last year.
 Consumers have enthusiastically embraced IKEA's concept that quality is only valuable when it is affordable. IKEA's business was built on thriftiness so that they can deliver to their customers high quality merchandise at remarkably low prices by intelligently and efficiently designing their own furniture and home furnishing accessories, flat packing to reduce shipping and storage costs and allowing the customers to participate in the final assembly. IKEA quickly adapted to this marketplace, and now more than 50 percent of their furniture sales are generated from merchandise which is produced in North America.
 IKEA Carson, located in the former home of the Broadway department store, is 203,000 square feet. It is the first three level IKEA store of any of the 20 stores in North America and is the company's 112th location worldwide. IKEA Carson employs approximately 200 full and part time co-workers and IKEA U.S. West employs approximately 1,000 in total.
 To entice IKEA to Carson, city officials in conjunction with Carson Mall owners, agreed to finance a major mall renovation. The brand new glass enclosed South Bay Pavilion at Carson is the result of this investment and the change is certain to spark further development in this area. The South Bay Pavilion is a perfect location for an IKEA store because of the easy freeway accessibility, the mall's commitment to community relations and its proximity to the South Bay area and Long Beach.
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~CONTACT: Judy McNamee or Gail Blumenfeld of IKEA U.S. West, 310-527-6085~


CO: IKEA ST: California IN: LEI HOU SU:

JG -- NYON2 -- 2131 11~18~92 02:40 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1992
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COME TO IKEA IN CARSON ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, AND YOU COULD WIN ENOUGH IKEA HOME FURNISHINGS TO FILL YOUR ENTIRE HOUSE

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