Swedish IKEA began construction yesterday of a shop called IKEA Mudrovo at the intersection of the Murmansk highway and the ring road in the Leningrad Region. As Director of IKEA in Russia Lennart Dahlgren told journalists, the shop will be 28 thousand square metres in size. Turkish company Enka is the main contractor. Initial investments in the project total USD 45 million and the shop is expected to be opened on December 12, 2003.
After the opening of the shop there are plans to construct other shops nearby, which IKEA will lease to other leading companies. IKEA currently leases trading space to the French chain of supermarkets Auchan, the German chain of shops for household goods Obi, the Spanish clothes chain zara, the Russian chain for technical goods Technosila and others at a shopping centre near Moscow. As a Rosbalt correspondent was informed by IKEA PR Director Irina Valenkova, 'all of these companies have shown an interest in construction of the new centre in the Leningrad Region,' although no provisional lease agreements have yet been signed.
Despite an official announcement that construction is to begin, the IKEA management has still not solved the issue with the local government as to whether the land will be leased on a long-term basis (49 years) or whether it will become the property of the Swedish company. Some believe that IKEA intends to purchase the land outright.
IKEA already has two shops near Moscow. Another shop is expected to open in the east of the Moscow Region in 2003. IKEA has 170 shops in 30 different countries.