IKEA has refused to rule out a new store in the Carrigtwohill area amid growing optimism that the Swedish homeware giant will settle in east Cork.
Speculation spread on social media this week that IKEA was planning a move to the site currently occupied by the Movie Junction Drive In Cinema after the large outdoor screen was dismantle by the owners.
However, these rumours were quashed by a statement from the cinema owners which said the the facility merely closed for maintenance until “further notice”.
IKEA itself has affirmed its commitment to opening a store in Cork but said nothing has been confirmed in relation to an exact location for a store.
“IKEA is committed to growing and investing in Ireland. We are always looking for opportunities and are investigating the potential for a second store in the market, specifically in Cork,” a spokesperson said.
“However, we have no confirmed plans for the development of an IKEA store at the moment,” they added.
Movie Junction did not respond to requests for comment from the Evening Echo.
Cork County Council said in January that it was helping the company to identify a suitable location.
Local Councillor Anthony Barry (FG) said he believes the establishment of an IKEA store is a number of years away but the company has considered the site which Movie Junction operates out of.
However, he added any talk around the site's future use is only based on rumour until the company makes an official announcement.
“Any talk is mere speculation at the moment. It is no secret that IKEA is looking in Carrigtowhill. I imagine that even if a planning application was lodged in the morning it would be three or four years before anything could open,” he said.
“The correct infrastructure would have to be in place and I imagine the Dunkettle Interchange would have to be finished before IKEA could come.