IKEA Revamping Iconic N.J. Store
Brian Carroll -- Furniture Today, March 8, 2009
IKEA has begun a 15-month remodeling project to revamp and update its almost two-decade-old 352,00-square-foot store here — the company's first large-scale project in the United States.
Completion of the project is slated for April 2010. But all the while, the store will remain open to shoppers.
The IKEA Elizabeth unit, as the company calls it, first opened its doors in May 1990 on a 21-acre site at exit 13A of the New Jersey Turnpike. Eight years later, IKEA expanded the location, situated across from Newark Liberty Airport, by 80,000 square feet.
Today, this unit is one of 36 in the United States.
The remodeling project is "a comprehensive renovation," IKEA said, which will update the shopping experience and operational efficiency of IKEA Elizabeth. "This remodel will ensure that all New York and New Jersey-area stores reflect the more up-to-date display standards and layouts."
More specifically, the store will undergo phased implementation of a completely updated layout in all departments, representing the latest in IKEA display practices. Activity will include reconstruction of interior and partition walls, racking, path revisions, merchandising displays, re-ordering of departments, temporary detours, a short-term external warehouse, roomier customer convenience areas and refurbishing of key equipment and systems, the company said.
"While we continuously refresh our inspirational room-settings and displays, this sizeable investment will allow us to make significant and structural changes throughout the store so our customers have the best IKEA experience possible," said store manager Bob Kay.
In the Showroom, room-settings and model home interiors will be refreshed and the customer path will be re-routed slightly for a more logical flow that combines some departments and relocates others. The entire accessories Marketplace will be overhauled to incorporate nearly 11,000 square feet of reallocated space, to adopt the current flow used by newer IKEA stores and to feature certain display areas more prominently. The Self-Serve area, where customers retrieve flat-packed furniture themselves, will quadruple in size and be reconfigured to offer greater accessibility to more items.
But parents, be warned. During the remodel, the 'Children's IKEA' area of the "Showroom" section and certain areas of the "Marketplace" area will undergo several reductions and temporary relocations throughout the process.
More related news: The Bistro and Swedish Foodmarket are being remodeled, resulting in limited or no access to those areas during the renovation.
The store's full-serve warehouse and furniture pick-up areas will be relocated temporarily to a building across IKEA Drive, and kitchen cabinets and appliances will not be available for same-day takeaway until the remodel is complete.
The tri-state area is home to several other IKEA stores: Paramus, N.J.; Hicksville, N.Y., on Long Island; and Brooklyn, N.Y., a store that opened last year.
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