Business

IKEA North Lakes staff start building the store

Ikea have started unpacking and assembling the new North Lakes store planned to open in time for Christmas shoppers.
Ikea have started unpacking and assembling the new North Lakes store planned to open in time for Christmas shoppers. Ikea

STAFF at Ikea's new store at North Lakes have this week started assembling furniture as trucks full of flat packs unloaded into the giant warehouse space.

One-hundred-and-seventy container loads arrived, and 20,000 pieces of furniture need to be assembled in the coming weeks, as staff turn a 6000sq m showroom into a series of display rooms designed to inspire home makers.

A 6000sq m market hall, an 8000sq m self-serve warehouse and office space also had to be filled, adding to a total store footprint of 28,000sq m.

All of the "room sets" would be assembled in parallel, but store manager Stefano Bizzarri insists it's not chaos.

"We received the first trucks last week and it is full of activity in the store," he said.

The kitchen spaces were the most complex and would be assembled first, Mr Bizzarri said.

More than 10 Sunshine Coast residents were among a 200-strong team of co-workers currently on staff, with another one hundred set to start before the store opened.

"We have many others helping us - about 60 extra people who have come from other stores," Mr Bizzarri said.

The staff had helped design the store, which was Ikea's second in Queensland and aimed to appeal to customers with larger homes and coastal tastes.

"We gathered the intelligence (on local preferences) from home visits and sent that to national office," he said.

"They've come back with designs."

Integration of outdoor living spaces into store room sets was one feature intended to appeal to coastal home makers, he said.

The North Lakes Ikea will be accessible on two levels from the Westfield North Lakes shopping centre in which it is located.

As staff walked around Westfield North Lakes they were "constantly" being stopped by curious shoppers, Mr Bizarri said.

"Nowadays whenever we go to Westfield with our Ikea t-shirts on, people want to know when we are open," he said.

The store manager laughed when asked when exactly that would be, apologising that he would remain tight-lipped until a date had been decided.

Topics:  ikea, ikea north lakes, shopping


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