Furnishing joy: IKEA plans KC-area store for 2014

Emily Letterman, Features Editor

Each morning I grab my shoes out of Stahl, turn off Kroby and grab my coffee from Omar on the way out the door.

Sound weird?

That’s because it’s Swedish – well, sort of.

My love of the Swedish-retail giant IKEA was cultivated in catalogs and came to fruition during a series of road trips this year. With delightfully quirky and uniquely Swedish names for its line of household products, the store forever cemented a place in my heart.

Stahl – my shoes dresser – was a spur of the moment purchase on my fall trip to Frisco, Texas, the closest IKEA store to Springfield. Kroby – my desk lamp – perfectly accentuates my IKEA Expedite desk, which matches my Expedite bookshelves, the reason for my original spring trip to Frisco. Omar – my kitchen shelving units – fit perfectly next to Spontan – my wall-mounted magazine rack turned reusable bag holder thanks to the IKEA Design Center.

I love a good road trip, but at just more than seven hours one way, the drive to Frisco got old fast. A hot topic in my friends circle, the prospect of an IKEA location in Kansas City quickly became our pipe dream. It turns out we weren’t alone. The “Bring IKEA to Kansas City” Facebook page has 9,321 likes and growing.

So on Sept. 27, when the world’s leading home furnishing retailer announced a Merriam, Kan., location could be in the works, emails of joy amongst my friends were aplenty. The dream became reality when the Merriam City Council unanimously approved the plan Dec. 18.

Provided by IKEA, a rendering of the purposed IKEA Merriam location.

Provided by IKEA, a rendering of the proposed IKEA Merriam location.

Pending the land purchase, permits and demolition of on-site buildings, construction of the future IKEA Merriam can begin in summer 2013 and open in fall 2014, according to a news release. Located eight miles southwest of Kansas City – a quick 2 hours and 55 minutes from Springfield according to Google Maps –  the 349,000-square-foot future franchise location will be built along the eastern side of I-35 at the Johnson Drive exit on 18 acres to be purchased from DDR Corp. One level of parking below the store, a two-level parking structure and spaces accessible at-grade will provide more than 1,200 parking spaces on-site.

 
Based on my Frisco trips, all 1,200 of those parking spots will be filled within minutes of the store opening – especially on meatball Sunday.

 
That’s right, in addition to cute and reasonably priced home goods, IKEA has an in-store restaurant, complete with Swedish delicasies. For under $4, you can get a Swedish meatball dinner, including mashed potatoes and gravy, a roll, Ligon Berry jam and a glass of Ligon Berry tea.

They may not look it on this cell-phone photo, but these meatball are sinfully good.

They may not look it on this cell-phone photo, but these meatball are sinfully good.

But the IKEA Diner is just part of the IKEA experience, which includes the IKEA Showroom, the IKEA Marketplace and the IKEA General Store – all designed in a simple, efficient manner to keep you in the multilevel store from sunrise to sunset. With more than 330 IKEA stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S, the brand has become known for its well-made, eco-friendly, affordable family furnishings. In 2012, the chain employed 154,000 employees, working 9.5 million retail square meters, with 776 million in-store visits and $36.5 billion in profits.

 

According to IKEA.com, the IKEA concept began when Ingvar Kamprad, an entrepreneur from the Smaland province in southern Sweden, had an innovative idea. In Smaland, although the soil is thin and poor, the people have a reputation for working hard, living frugally and making the most out of limited resources. So when Kamprad started his furniture business in 1943, he applied the lessons he learned to the home furnishings market.

 

The name IKEA comes from his initials – Ingvar Kamprad, I and K – plus the first letters of Elmtaryd and Agunnaryd, the names of the farm and village where he grew up.

 

With 18 news stores added to the lineup in 2012, the Swedish giant has no plans of slowing anytime soon.

 
“We look forward to bringing our unique shopping experience closer to the 60,000 customers already in the (Kansas City) area, to introducing new customers to the IKEA concept, to hiring 300 coworkers and to creating more than 500 construction jobs,” IKEA U.S. President Mike Ward said in the release.

 
The 18-acre IKEA Merriam will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area and a 450-seat restaurant.

 
Fifty inspirational room settings? Be still my beating heart; two years can’t pass quickly enough. I should probably begin prepping for my grand opening road trip now.

My spring road trip to the Frisco, Texas, location was a blast. So were summer and fall trips....

My spring road trip to the Frisco, Texas, location was a blast. So were summer and fall trips….

Last edited 2:39 p.m., Jan. 7, 2013

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3 Responses to “Furnishing joy: IKEA plans KC-area store for 2014”


  1. 1 Jan Stahle January 6, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Emily, nice article and it’s about time we get an IKEA in “our” area. It will do very well. From a Swede who has lived here fo 38 years, but goes back every summer.
    Mr. Jan Stahle
    BTW, IKEA is still family owned and all stores are painted in the Swedish flag colors. Very good company branding.

  2. 2 Carleigh Peters March 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I live in Wichita, Ks but would make the drive to KC. We’ve been wanting one here for a long time but if that’s as close as we can get one then I’ll take it

  3. 3 Kim April 23, 2013 at 9:23 am

    We also made a Spring road trip a few years ago from Springfield to Frisco. Love me some IKEA! We rented a U-haul to bring all of our goods back. Expedit, Spontan, and Omar are all friends of mine as well. I cannot wait to make the much shorter road trip to KC to eat meatballs and immerse myself in the fabulousness of Ikea.


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