Ikea opens first store in the Balkans

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans
An Ikea city centre store in Hamburg. Photo: TT
Swedish furniture giant Ikea has opened its first store in the former Yugoslavia, near Croatia's capital Zagreb. The move marks the company's first step in an expansion to the Balkans market.

Swedish furniture giant Ikea on Thursday opened its first store in the territory of the former Yugoslavia near Croatia's capital Zagreb, the first step towards expanding on the Balkans market.

With a surface of some 38,000 square meters, the store is one of the company's biggest worldwide and can accommodate 5,000 visitors.

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic attended the opening ceremony of the store, situated about a dozen kilometres east from Zagreb on the highway to neighbouring Serbia.

Ikea has invested 100 million euros ($132 million) in the store, which will employ 350 people.

Local manager Igor Stefanac said the company wants to open two more stores in Croatia and is in talks to acquire premises in Slovenian capital Ljubljana.

Ikea also plans to open five stores in Serbia, as well as another one in the Romanian capital Bucharest and several other towns there, he added.

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