IKEA will open its first store in Serbia, in Bubanj Potok near Belgrade, on Thursday, 10th August. This marks the company’s return to Serbia, which had its first store opened in Belgrade, 26 years ago, which closed due to the economic sanctions imposed on Serbia.
– It gives me a great pleasure to announce that we are opening our Belgrade department store on Thursday, 10th August. This will be the jubilee 400th IKEA store in the world, and Serbia will be the first new market that we are breaking into this year. I would like to invite your readers and the citizens of Belgrade to join us on the opening day – says Stefan Vanoverbeke, Director of IKEA Southeast Europe.
In an interview for the Blic daily, Vanoverbeke says that IKEA poured EUR 70 million in equipping the facility located in Bubanj Potok and EUR 10 million more in infrastructure construction.
IKEA has already hired 246 people and by opening they are planning to have 406. A total of 25,000 people applied to IKEA’s job ads.
– We finished the recruitment process and the remaining colleagues will join us in the upcoming weeks– Vanoverbeke said.
Vanoverbeke adds that Belgrade has been for a long time at the business operations expansion map’ of the company and reminds that in 1991 IKEA opened a small shop at the Hyatt Hotel but it also closed it after only a year.
– At the moment, we have two department stores in the region, in Zagreb and Bucharest. After Belgrade, we will open another department store in Bucharest and the first one in Ljubljana, and by 2025 we are planning to have 12 department stores in the region – he said.
IKEA store in Bubanj Potok spans over 30,000 square metres and will sell a total of 9,500 products. It will have a restaurant that can take 500 people, a shop that sells Swedish food, a bistro, a children playhouse and a parking lot with 1,200 spaces.
(Blic, eKapija, 12.06.2017)
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