IKEA: Putting Ottawa on the retail mapPublished on November 25, 2011

  • (Ottawa At Home)

The new IKEA store in the Pinecrest Mall is most definitely something to talk about.

But let's not start by focusing on the grand space and the shopping opportunities a store like this offers. Let's absorb the fact that IKEA has chosen Ottawa to open their largest store in Canada.

See a slideshow of the new IKEA

The decision to make the full line of IKEA products available to the Ottawa consumer says a lot for the vibrant economy in the nation's capital. Christina Hunter, with IKEA Ottawa's communications department, tells us that there is a lot of value in Ottawa and its surrounding areas. Attracting clientele from cities such as Cornwall, Kingston, Brockville and other outlying communities is all part of Ottawa's appeal.

Ottawa At Home had the chance to tour the 427,000 square-foot space before doors open to the public Dec. 7. The sense of community and pride amongst the busy Ďco-workers' was clear.

Our tour started with us entering through the workers' locker room, a large, inviting space showing commitment to employee satisfaction. There will be 100 new employees added to the dedicated work force.

Hard at work putting together the 55 show rooms, employees showed pride in their work as our tour led us from room to room.

While much was covered with plastic, the tour was inspiring and revealed a plethora of products that will offer customers a range of furnishings and finishings to appeal to varied tastes and budgets.

Maintaining a dedication to environmental awareness, the new sustainable spaces were intriguing. Equally appealing were luxurious kitchens catering to gourmet cooks, families, singles and couples. There truly is something for everyone, from budget to style and design.

As for the grand space - a shopping trip to IKEA might be consider a workout! Walk from the entrance to the exit and you have traveled 1.3 kilometres. Keep in mind you may do this a few times to take it all in.

The idea is to spend time and enjoy the experience. The famous ballroom has almost been tripled in size. The restaurant will offer up to 640 seats, while parking spaces double.

Just in time for holiday shopping, the new store will soon open its doors. Mayor Jim Watson will make an appearance, as will councilor Rick Chiarelli. It is, after all, a celebration for Ottawa too.

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