Swedish furniture giant IKEA is opening its brand new store in Loulé on Thursday, March 30.
The news was confirmed today by store manager Abdelhak Ayadi.
“We are very excited,” he told journalists over lunch at the town’s Mèm restaurant.
“We have received lots of contacts and know that people in the Algarve are very interested in this store,” he said.
This new branch of IKEA is part of a larger €200 million mega complex which also features a shopping centre (Mar Shopping Algarve) due to open this summer, and a retail fashion outlet expected to open around the same time.
With two floors and a 24,000sqm area, it will be IKEA’s fifth outlet in Portugal. It is part of the company’s plan to open 10 outlets in the country by 2025.
Ayadi, who has worked for IKEA for 25 years, said the store was built with “sustainability” in mind and features several solar panels, which cost around €1 million.
The project was initially slammed by Algarve retailers, who feared the “serious risks” they said it posed to the environment and economy. (click here).
This changed when Álvaro Viegas took over regional retailers’ association ACRAL.
Viegas’ belief is that it is useless to fight IKEA and that retailers should instead “find the best strategies” that could lead to profits for their businesses. (click here).