Expatica news

Green light for biggest Ikea in Belgium

3 May 2007

GHENT – Furniture chain Ikea has been given the green light from the National Socio-Economic Committee for Distribution (NSECD) to build a new location on a site near the Flanders Expo in Ghent.

Unizo Oost-Vlaanderen is not happy about the permit and fears the net loss of 100 to 400 jobs in the region, especially in the furniture industry and trade, because of the arrival of Ikea.

“An Ikea on the edge of the city will also boost the already high number of commercial properties standing empty in Ghent and will not benefit the city’s attraction as a commercial centre,” Unizo says.

The furniture giant had already signed a letter of intent with a development company. A lot of 4 hectares between the E40 motorway and the Flanders Expo buildings will be reserved for the new Ikea.

If all the permits are granted and construction goes according to plan, Ikea hopes to open the doors of the new location in summer 2008.

It will be the largest Ikea in Belgium, with a floor area of 30,500 square metres and about 1,900 parking spaces.

Tom Wijmeersch of Ikea says 400 people will be employed in the furniture store itself, while indirect activities (security, catering, maintenance) will provide work for another 70.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news