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Ikea starts construction at Kansas City-area store

MERRIAM, Kan. — Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea broke ground Tuesday on its planned 359,000-square-foot store here.

The store, on an 18.4-acre tract at Interstate 35 and Johnson Drive, southwest of Kansas City, Mo., is slated to open fall 2014.

The store will reflect the architectural design of the retailer's other stores and will include nearly 10,000 items, 50 room settings, three model home interiors, a supervised play area and a 450-seat restaurant.

The company also is evaluating the potential for on-site power generation "to complement its current U.S. goal of renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations," Ikea said in a release.

More than 500 jobs are expected to be created in the construction phase, and the retailer said it will add about 300 people to its ranks when the store opens.

"This location will help bring the unique Ikea family-friendly shopping experience closer to many Kansas City-area customers who currently can only shop at Ikea stores elsewhere or online," Ikea U.S. President Mike Ward said.

The retailer, with more than 340 stores in 41 countries, including 38 in the United States, is No. 2 on Furniture/Today's Top 100, with an estimated $2.53 billion in furniture, bedding and accessories sales at its U.S. stores for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31.

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