Mon, 11 Jul 2016
IKEA Reading is almost upon us....
The new store in Calcot opens at 10am on Thursday.
IKEA Reading covers 32,000sqm and contains a 450-seat restaurant; creche, food market and 1,000 car parking spaces.
And the Newbury Weekly News was invited to take a tour of the hotly anticipated store, which features the Swedish furniture giant's full product range.
IKEA Reading is the first of the chain's 337 worldwide stores to include a 'style island', which allows people to design their own kitchen from IKEA's range.
The store has created 370 jobs with more than 90 per cent of employees coming from the local area.
Excited store manager Johanna Heuren said: "I'm going through the roof, it's amazing I feel so humbled to stand here today with the team that we have recruited.
"We are just about to open our doors to the people in the Thames Valley and coming closer to people in the Thames Valley; you have traveled to Bristol, Southampton and Milton Keynes... now we are coming to you."
IKEA has paid around £5m in developer's contributions to try and mitigate the impact of the store on local roads.
The package included carriageway improvement works and widening the A4.
Mrs Heuren said that traffic management would be in place on the first day and over the opening weekend to ensure that "flows worked well in the car park."
For more on IKEA, see this week's Newbury Weekly News.