MERRIAM, Kansas — A worldwide retailer is preparing to open a store in Kansas.
Tuesday morning, IKEA broke ground for a store in the Kansas City area. The store in Merriam will open in the fall of 2014.
Several dignitaries were on hand for the event, including Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
The Swedish company says it is the world’s leading home furnishings retailer with 340 IKEA stores in 41 countries.
The nearest IKEA stores to Kansas currently are near Denver and Dallas.
The store in Merriam will be 359,000 square feet with 1,200 parking spaces. It’s going in along the east side of Interstate-35 and Johnson Drive.
The store will include a restaurant that serves Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries and salmon plates, as well as American dishes.
The company says more than 500 workers will be needed during the construction phase. When it opens, the store will employ about 300 people.