SWEDISH furniture giant IKEA has confirmed it is interested in opening a store in Cork, following months of speculation that it is looking at a location in the east of the county.
“IKEA is committed to growing and investing in Ireland,” the company said in a statement to the Evening Echo.
“We are always looking for opportunities and are investigating the potential for a second store in the market, specifically in Cork.”
In November it was reported that IKEA had chosen a location in Carrigtwohill, but yesterday the company said it had no ‘confirmed plans’ at the moment.
Cork County Council said it was working to identify suitable locations.
“The Council has been made aware of interest by IKEA in developing a large scale retail warehouse in metropolitan Cork,” a spokesperson said.
“Provision had been made in the recently adopted Local Area Plans for the area for such an eventuality."
“The Council now intends to engage with other stakeholders including TII, NTA and Cork City Council to examine appropriate locations within the metropolitan area which could accommodate such a facility. We hope to complete this work by late summer.”
There is competition from other parts of the country.
Councillors from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown invited IKEA representatives to a county council meeting in the autumn, at the request of the furniture company, and they said at the time they were also “exploring the option of a site in south Dublin”.
There had been speculation that the retailer would choose the vacant Amgen site but it now believed to prefer another location in Carrigtwohill, close to the rail line.
Ikea’s Dublin store, opened in Ballymun in 2009, employs 650 people and it is believed a Cork store would create around 500 jobs.