IKEA Plans First Ohio Store
West Chester, Ohio, IKEA announced that it will build its first Ohio store in the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester. A 339,000-sq.-ft. store is planned on 56 acres about 25 miles north of Cincinnati. IKEA said it would be selling about six acres for retail and restaurant uses. The store will include three model homes, a children’s play area and a 300-seat restaurant, the company said. The store is expected to open in fall 2007.
Publix’s New Flagship Explores Varied Concepts
Jacksonville, Fla., Publix unveiled a new flagship store Thursday, with new displays, signage and widened product selection, according to a report by the Jacksonville Times-Union. The prototype store is a combination of concepts Publix previously tested in other markets. Additionally, the new liquor store—the only Publix liquor store in Northeast Florida—is a pilot program that is only available in 14 other locations chainwide. Tabletop displays, a party-planning service and a cooking school are set to open by January 2007.
Lowe’s to Build $60 Million Data Center
Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s Cos. Inc. announced it plans to spend around $60 million to build a new data center in San Antonio, Texas. The center will serve as the core of the company’s information-technology systems, including data storage and computer processing. The price tag includes land, building costs and equipment.
Lowe’s plans to open the center by the middle of 2007. The center, which will employ between 20 and 25 people, with room for future expansion, is part of the company’s larger expansion plans. By the end of 2006, Lowe’s said, it will have opened an additional 155 new stores with plans to open about as many in 2007.