ACT News

IKEA store in Majura Park a step closer

Canberra is one step closer to having its own Swedish flat-pack giant with iconic yellow letters attached to the Majura Park IKEA store on Wednesday morning.

The sight of super-sized letters is the latest sign of progress at the 26,000 square-metre store, which is expected to open later this year and attract close to a million visitors each year. 

IKEA Canberra gets its letters.
IKEA Canberra gets its letters.  Photo: Jay Cronan

The IKEA store will add to a growing Majura Park retail precinct which welcomed Costco last year and is expected to create 280 local jobs with a recruitment process launched late last year.

The store will also include a 340-seat restaurant, a childcare centre, and a solar panel energy system that will generate up to a quarter of the energy consumed by the store.

While construction workers race around the Majura Park paddock, interior designers with European accents have been busy measuring and assessing the homes of 130 Canberra families.

Earlier this year, more than 1000 ACT residents welcomed IKEA designers into their homes to forensically assess their eating habits, social lives, lifestyle choices and aspirations.

Tiffany Buckins, head of interior design at IKEA Australia, said feedback from the home visits would dictate what products were stocked at the Majura Park store when it finally opened.

Canberra's business leaders have been hopeful that the opening of the store may resuscitate the ACT's struggling retail sector, which recorded a 1.9 per cent decline during January.

Canberra Business Chamber chief executive officer Chris Faulks has touted the potential for big-box retailers to "attract a much larger number of people who come to Canberra to shop".

On Thursday, Deloitte Access Economics described the short term outlook of the territory's retail sector as weak with public sector cutbacks continuing to have in impact on household expenditure.

Deloitte has predicted modest growth for the ACT retail sector in coming years with a 0.4 per cent increase forecast for the 2014-15 financial year, followed by a 3.2 and 3.5 per cent increase in coming years.

The ACT store expects to sell 24 tonnes of meatballs within a year of opening along with 23 tonnes of cinnamon buns and 300,000 hot dogs, which would stretch from Canberra to Yass if placed end-to-end.