CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today announced the appointment of Leontyne Green Sykes as manager of its future Jacksonville store. Until the future IKEA Jacksonville opens in Fall 2017, customers can shop at IKEA Orlando and IKEA Tampa or online at IKEA-USA.com. Two other IKEA stores are located in the South Florida cities of Sunrise and Sweetwater.
“We are very excited about opening a Jacksonville store, 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 Lars Petersson. “Leontyne’s experience at IKEA as a customer-focused leader – combined with her brand marketing background – make her the ideal choice to lead the future IKEA Jacksonville.”
“IKEA recognizes the customer base that exists in North Florida, so I am pleased about providing the 110,000 customers who currently are shopping at IKEA – as well as future new customers – with a store of their own,” Green Sykes said. “At the same time, I am excited about growing IKEA culture among new coworkers from the Jacksonville area.”
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Green Sykes, who relocated to Jacksonville from the Philadelphia area, joined IKEA in 2006 as a regional marketing manager following three years of retail management and seven years of consumer product marketing. After three years of providing national marketing support for ten IKEA stores in key areas of the country, she was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer of IKEA U.S., responsible for spearheading the company’s communications effort as the national presence grew. In 2015, Green Sykes became deputy store manager of IKEA Conshohocken, one of the two Philadelphia-area IKEA stores, where she served until being named store manager of the future IKEA Jacksonville.
The 290,000-square-foot future IKEA Jacksonville and its 950 parking spaces will be built on 25 acres along the northwestern corner of Interstate 295 and Gate Parkway, approximately 10 miles southeast of downtown Jacksonville. The store reflects the unique architectural design for which IKEA is known worldwide and will include one of Florida’s largest rooftop solar arrays, consistent with the solar presence at 90% of IKEA U.S. locations.
IKEA Jacksonville will feature nearly 10,000 exclusively designed items, 50 inspirational room-settings, three model home interiors, a supervised children’s play area, and a 325-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. And – in addition to 500 jobs expected during construction – 250 coworkers will join the IKEA family when the store opens. Opportunities will be available this summer for candidates interested in working at this employer of choice. IKEA Jacksonville also will provide annual sales and property tax revenue for local governments and schools.
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 390 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 43 in the U.S. IKEA has been ranked among “Best Companies to Work For” and, as further investment in its coworkers, has raised its own minimum wage twice in two years. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.