Friday AM June 4th, 2010

The remodeling began in September 2009, increasing the showroom footage by 6,000 square feet and the number of showroom settings from 38 to 55.ξ IKEA's Nabeela Ixtabalan says the store has grown with the city.

"There was a separate building several years ago, which was much smaller.ξ And that was, basically we rebuilt—the building that is here today was built in the parking lot of that previous building.ξ We redesigned the path and the flow of the store is different.ξ The room settings where we showcase our furniture is different.ξ Even our warehouse was remodeled to be larger."

The remodeling and expansion is creating some new job opportunities.

"Every year we have some peaks, and so summer is definitely a peak for us, a peak season for us.ξ And we also have a peak season in the fall and going into the holiday season, as well.ξ But in anticipation for the grand reopening on June 9th, we have hired approximately 40 people in the last 30 days.ξ We're in the process of extending offers and hiring an additional 33.ξ After that 33, we still have approximately anywhere from 15 to 20 positions that we'd love to fill."

IKEA's Houston store attracts on average 1.6 million visitors annually—enough people to fill the Reliant Stadium roughly 20 times.


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