Ikea announces Portugal expansion

Sweden's Ikea, the world's largest furniture retailer, said on Tuesday it plans to open three more stores in Portugal by 2010 bringing its total number of outlets in the country to five.

The company will invest 200 million euros (253 million dollars) in the three stores which will create 1,800 direct and indirect jobs, said Andre De Witt, the head of Ikea’s operations in Spain and Portugal.

Ikea opened its first store in Portugal in Lisbon in June 2004 and is set to open a second outlet in the country in Matosinhos just outside of Oporto, the nation’s second-largest city, during the second half of 2007.

Of the three new stores which will be built by 2010, two will be located in Lisbon and one will be in the Oporto area, De Witt said at a news conference.

Ikea, which has over 200 stores in 34 nations, in January unveiled plans to invest 32 million euros to build its first factory in Portugal aimed mostly at the export market.