IKEA 44 in Columbus
IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant has certainly come a long way since we covered its first store in Plymouth Meeting outside Philadelphia in 1985. Its latest store opening seemed more like a homecoming party.

June 7, 2017 at 9 a.m. was a big day for IKEA enthusiasts in Columbus, Ohio as the Swedish furniture chain’s 44th U.S. store was declared öppen. True to form shoppers began lining up two days prior to the event. The retailer gave away thousands of dollars in gift cards and merchandise to recognize its first customers — the first 44 customers through the doors received a free sofa on opening day! The next 100 received what might still be founder Ingvar Kamprad’s favorite item, the Poäng armchair, and several thousand others received gift cards and special offers.

David Garcia, the hosting local store manager, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, IKEA’s U.S. President Lars Peterson and Göran Lithell from the Swedish Embassy were present to celebrate the occasion with the traditional log sawing ceremony in lieu of ribbon cutting. The store is IKEA’s second in the state; Ohio's first store opened in 2008 just north of Cincinnati. The 354,000-square-foot IKEA Columbus is located at the northeastern corner of I-71 and Gemini Place, with one of Ohio’s largest rooftop solar arrays and electric vehicle charging stations among its 1,200 parking spaces.

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The furniture chain broke ground for its first Wisconsin store in Oak Creek just south of Milwaukee along I-94 on June 29. For more info, see www.ikea.com/us