IKEA Opens First Outlet in Bulgaria
Swedish furniture giant IKEA has opened its first store in Sofia on Tuesday, which is also its first ever store in Bulgaria.
The IKEA store in Sofia with a total area of about 30 000 square meters is located at 216 Beltway road. It features a parking lot with 1 200 spaces as well as a restaurant with 600 seats.
IKEA Bulgaria is a franchise of the Greek Fourlis company, which also has the IKEA rights for Greece and Cyprus.
The first Bulgarian IKEA store was formally inaugurated by Bulgarian Deputy PM and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, who cut a log with a saw, in accordance with a traditional Scandinavian ceremony.
A week before the opening of the IKEA store in Sofia, media reports said the Bulgarian IKEA had higher prices than outlets in other European countries, which spurred an outrage in the social networks.
The company has vehemently refuted the allegations, saying that it is not fair to compare the prices of specific IKEA products in various European markets by not accounting for all parameters of the products in question.
George Alevizos, Finance Manage of the Greek group of companies Fourlis, told Novinite.com that Fourlis intended to open at least one more IKEA store to be located near the Black Sea city of Varna, and might also consider opening a third store within the next 5 years.
Fourlis has invested EUR 50 M in the construction of the first IKEA store in Bulgaria, which will employ about 350 people.
The interview of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) with Fourlis Group Manager George Alevizos about IKEA's entering of the Bulgarian market READ HERE