July 10, 2017
Despite one of the wildest decades for the U.S. retail industry, IKEA will soon open its first store in Wisconsin, making it its 48th store in the nation.
The store will occupy 29 acres of land near Interstate 94 on W. Drexel Ave., and it could become the state's most popular retail hotspots. Well-known retailers all around the U.S. have been closing their doors, many departing shopping malls. However, IKEA's store would be a small light of hope in that trend.
Ratings from Moody's Investors Service suggest that 22 U.S. retailers are at risk for filing for bankruptcy. This would top the record of 19, which was noted at the height of the Great Recession.
More and more consumers are going online to shop instead of visiting brick and mortar stores.
However, IKEA, which is a self-assembled furniture store chain from Sweden, is bucking this trend.
When the Oak Creek store opens, which is slated for summer 2018, it will be 291,000 square feet and offer signature furniture as well office and home decor. It will also include a 300-seat restaurant that serves various specialties like Swedish meatballs with lingonberries.
Wisconsin residents will no longer have to visit Schaumburg, Ill. to shop at its IKEA store.
With the rebuilding of I-94, Oak Creek officials offered $5 million to assist in the construction of a new interchange along Drexel Ave. This helped to pave the way for the IKEA store. The interchange provided the company the opportunity it had been looking for to enter the state. It just needed a freeway access and the right amount of acreage to build a store.
Site grading work has already begun, but Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz, several other dignitaries and a few IKEA representatives will hold an official celebration to mark the construction.