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Furniture Giant Ikea Assembling Two Distribution Centers In The Area

By Jim Bochnowski in News on May 22, 2015 8:00PM

Photo via Ikea's Facebook page

Ikea, the Swedish furniture retail giant, is planning on expanding their footprint in the Chicagoland area with designs for building not one, but two distribution centers.

Back in February, the company submitted final plans to create a gigantic, 1.4 million square-foot distribution center in Joliet, with plans to begin construction this fall and ideally open the facility by 2017. The idea was originally hatched in 2007, but plans stalled when the retail giant determined that they "didn't quite need [it] yet."

However, with Ikea's rapid expansion in the Midwest, including new stores in St. Louis, Columbus and even Memphis, the need has grown for more centralized operations that can move thousands of goods through to the growing retail shops.

That is precisely why Ikea now has eyes on purchasing an adjacent lot in Joliet to expand the business even further. According to the Tribune, the company has recently submitted plans to build another 1 million square-foot distribution center on a 62-acre lot directly west of the first, to-be-constructed facility.

In a statement, Ikea CFO Rob Olson said Joliet would become Ikea's "Midwestern hub" with plans for the new terminals moving forward.

What's good for Ikea is also a good thing for the local economy. John Greuling, president and chief executive officer of Will County Center for Economic Development, has said, "We are very happy to see this because it's an indicator of not only our industrial development, but I think a good signal for the retail industry."

This will be the first distribution centers in the Midwest; others are located on the East and West Coasts. Ikea also has two retail locations in the area: one in Schaumburg and one in Bolingbrook.