August 19, 2017

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Store expected to draw shoppers into Winnipeg

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/12/2008 (3167 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Now that the "if" IKEA will ever come to Winnipeg has essentially turned into a "when," forecasters have been quick to predict a WalMart-esque economic impact once the store opens by 2013.

Wilf Falk, chief statistician for the province, said it hasn't conducted any quilitative studies about what IKEA will mean to Winnipeg from a dollars and cents point of view, but if previous trends are any indication, the store could attract shoppers from several hours away in all directions.

"There's potential tourism from people in Grand Forks, northwestern Ontario and southern Saskatchewan coming here," he said.

Robert Warren, I.H.Asper executive director for entrepreneurship at the University of Manitoba, said IKEA will attract consumers and other retailers to its south Winnipeg location in much the same way that Wal-Mart does.

"If I was looking to develop, I'd want to be next to them for sure.

They're a huge draw," he said.

Considering IKEA's sizable mail-order business in Winnipeg, a local store will likely transfer millions of dollars out of province sales to Manitoba, which will help sustain the expected workforce of about 400, Falk said.

But the economic situation won't be all wine and roses, he warned, as other furniture reailers in Winnipeg could lose significant sales for at least the short-term once IKEA opens.

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