Monctonians have instructions for Ikea: build here, not Halifax

Some consumers call it the most desired retail name currently not found in Moncton and it looks like they may have to wait a little longer to have an Ikea located here.

Ikea Canada president will be at announcement in Halifax Friday

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is planning an announcement in Halifax on Friday. It has been speculated the company will open a store in the Nova Scotia capital. (Neil Hall/Reuters)

Ikea is planning an announcement in Halifax on Friday with Ikea Canada president Stefan Sjostrand and Halifax mayor Mike Savage in attendance.

Speculation online centres on whether the company plans to open a full-scale location, or one of its smaller, pick-up locations in the Nova Scotia capital. 

But some are wondering why Moncton, with its reputation as the regional shopping hub, was not selected.

Riverview Coun. Andrew LeBlanc has been working to bring an Ikea to the region since 2014. He says he is disappointed that it appears Ikea is choosing Halifax over Moncton.

Not in Halifax, that's too far.- Kathy Connell, Miramichi resident

"They've probably looked at the areas and tried to see economically what would work best for them," he says.

"My personal choice? Absolutely, the Greater Moncton area. "

Many New Brunswickers have looked elsewhere to get their Ikea fix.

Mike Smith of MyBoxBuyer.com started making delivery runs from Ikea stores in Quebec and Ontario to the Maritimes in 2011.

At his peak, he had a crew of 20 people travelling several times a month.

Smith says he believes Friday's announcement will be for a large-scale store which will effectively mean the end of his Ikea delivery service.

In fact, Smith says he's been preparing for this scenario since the beginning.

Riverview Coun. Andrew LeBlanc has lobbied for Ikea to build a store in New Brunswick. (Ian Bonnell/CBC)
"Oh, absolutely," Smith said from his Halifax office.

"After operating for six months, the demand was so high, we were filling 50 three-foot containers full of furniture. In the back of my mind, I knew it was a very real possibility Ikea would come here."

Kathy Connell, Miramichi resident, was shopping in Moncton on Wednesday.

She says she's still holding out for the chain to set up shop in the hub city.

"If they had one in Moncton it would be wonderful. Not in Halifax, that's too far," she said.

An Ikea spokesperson said the company is unable to comment on Friday's announcement nor confirm which city is part of its expansion plans.

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