CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced the appointment of Rob Parsons as manager of its future Kansas City-area store opening Fall 2014 in Merriam, KS. Until IKEA Merriam opens, customers can shop at the closest IKEA stores in Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, or Texas, or online at IKEA-USA.com. (IKEA also has announced plans to open a store in St. Louis, Missouri in Fall 2015.)
“We are very excited about opening a store in the Kansas City area, where there are many IKEA customers as well as others who may not know us yet but are anxious for us to open,” said IKEA U.S. president Mike Ward. “Rob’s store management experience and background preparing new stores to open more than qualify him to manage IKEA Merriam.”
“IKEA recognizes the strong customer base for us in Kansas, Missouri and beyond, so I am pleased about providing the nearly 90,000 customers – who currently are shopping at IKEA elsewhere – with a store of their own,” Parsons said. “I also look forward to introducing new customers to our unique product offering and family-friendly shopping experience.”
Parsons, who relocated to the area from Long Island, NY, first joined IKEA in 1992 as a part-time sales coworker at the IKEA store in Hicksville, NY. Throughout the years, he held various management positions, ultimately becoming a furniture sales manager at that Long Island store. In 2003, Parsons became a member of the U.S. Retail Expansion team, where – as a project operations manager – he guided the build-up of new stores in New Haven, CT; Stoughton, MA; Draper, UT; and Brooklyn, NY. In 2008, Parsons returned to IKEA Long Island as operations manager, eventually being promoted to deputy store manager in 2010, and then acting store manager, serving until now becoming store manager of IKEA Merriam.
The 359,000 square-foot future IKEA store, and 1,200 parking spaces, is being built in the city of Merriam on 18.4 acres along the eastern side of Interstate-35 and Johnson Drive, eight miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri. The store will reflect the unique architectural design for which IKEA is known worldwide, and the region’s largest geothermal project, consistent with the IKEA renewable energy presence at its 90% of its U.S. locations.
IKEA Merriam will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 450-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Other family-friendly features include a ‘Children’s IKEA’ area in the Showroom, baby care rooms, play areas throughout the store, and preferred parking. In addition to the more than 500 jobs expected to be created during construction, approximately 300 coworkers would join the IKEA family when the new store opens. Diverse positions at this employer of choice include: home furnishings sales, interior decoration, customer service, safety and security, cashiers, maintenance, goods flow, receiving, warehouse and stock replenishment. Also, IKEA Merriam will offer more than 60 food service opportunities in its Restaurant, Swedish Foodmarket, Café Bistro and coworker cafeteria.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 340 IKEA stores in 42 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA has been ranked in FORTUNE’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, Working Mother magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” and Training magazine’s annual “Top 100.” IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, see IKEA-USA.com, @DesignByIKEA or IKEAUSA on facebook, youtube.com/IKEAUSA, instagram.com and pinterest.