Plans for getting an IKEA store in the Rochester area may be a little dimmer. It involves the company’s growth strategy.
The iconic furniture brand has been much sought after by a number of communities, and hopes were raised earlier this year in Henrietta with word that the Swedish company was possibly considering a location near Marketplace Mall.
Town Supervisor Steve Schultz says back in February, it was his understanding that IKEA was moving on to the next step in looking at Henrietta for a potential location.
“I haven’t heard anything since then so my sense so my assumption has been that it’s not happening this year, but I’ve also not heard anything saying that it’s not happening ever, so my belief is that we’re still in the running. When you look out to about a 90-minute radius, it’s something like five million people, four to five million people that service that area, so I’ve got to believe there’s an attraction for that,” Schultz told WXXI News.
And this also comes after reports of Ikea shifting its expansion strategy in the U.S. in recent months, moving away from suburban big box stores in some cases and more toward smaller, urban locations, as well as boosting its online sales.
A spokeswoman for IKEA, Leticia Bradley, issued this statement to WXXI News:
"We have not announced any plans for a store in the Rochester area. In terms of other projects, each of the other stores are unique and we are at different points in their development. Speculation on other project cancellations would be premature."
Dennis Wilmot, Senior Vice President of Leasing and Development for Wilmorite, which owns Marketplace has no specifics on Ikea’s plans, but hopes someday they will reconsider their strategy and put Rochester back on their radar.
Wilmorite has been trying to convert Marketplace into an outlet concept, but progress has been slow, due to what Wilmot says are industry headwinds. He says they continue to pursue marquee names in the retail industry along with additional options that would complement the tenants in that mall.