Source: eKapija | Wednesday, 09.08.2017.| 09:52
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IKEA expects 2 million visitors a year in Serbia – Take a peek inside the Belgrade department store before the opening

Our portal managed to take a peek inside the IKEA Belgrade department store a couple of days before the opening!

Over EUR 70 million was invested in this facility, IKEA's 400th department store globally.

The opening is scheduled for Thursday, August 10, at 10 a.m. Across around 35,000 square meters, customers will be provided with a choice of 9,500 items.

Along with the exhibition space and the commercial section, visitors will be provided with a restaurant of Serbian and Swedish cuisine with around 500 seats, a children's playroom, a parking lot with around 1,400 spaces, an electric car charger...

– Citizens of Serbia have been waiting for 25 years for IKEA to arrive and we are extremely glad to see how interested people are in our department store. We expect a lot of visits, as many as 15-20,000 a day in the first few days. Annually, the projections are for around 2 million visits from Belgrade and the entire Serbia – Stefan Vanoverbeke, CEO of IKEA Southeast Europe, says for eKapija.

The IKEA Belgrade department store is the first such store which will enable online purchase immediately after the opening. Vanoverbeke adds that this segment will certainly prove to be very significant in Serbia, primarily for customers outside Belgrade. Regarding potential construction of other department stores in Serbia and previous plans for a total of 5 facilities, our interviewee says:

– The digital revolution is changing customer habits and online purchase is increasingly more important. I believe this is just the beginning. We are therefore researching new ways of sale and new concepts. We want to first dedicate ourselves to this project and then to look into other possibilities. There are around 7.5 million residents in Serbia and there will certainly be other facilities, but it is still early to say of what type and how many.

Regarding future plans for Bubanj Potok, our interviewee says that they want to develop this location as a strong shopping destination.

– We are looking into our options, one of which is a retail park, which has been discussed before.

Vladimir Moga, director of IKEA Belgrade department store, points out that the facility in the Serbian capital is one of the most sustainable IKEA facilities globally.

– We have 1,300 solar panes, which provide around 20% of the energy needed, depending on weather conditions. We use geothermal sources of energy, we have 4 geothermal pumps, LED lighting exclusively, and we also plan to use rainwater. Also, this department store has a waste water treatment plant, and we also sort waste into 23 fractions. Customers will be able to charge their electric cars for free at the parking lot.

IKEA customers may assemble furniture themselves, as well as use the services of transport and assembly, but also the guiding, i.e. planning services in choosing furniture. The 0 level contains the sales department and cash registers, whereas the 1 level contains exhibition space.

– We also have the "As Is" department, where customers can buy items as they are exclusively – Moga said.

The first catalog in Serbian, printed in a million copies, was presented to customers in the country on August 8.

IKEA catalogs have been printed since 1950 and are among the publications with the biggest circulation globally.
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