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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IKEA Opens Novosibirsk Store

The country's first IKEA store east of the Urals opened its doors 20 days late in Novosibirsk last Tuesday after being delayed by a holdup in the issue of an operating permit by local authorities.

Reasons cited by Novosibirsk city government for disallowing the IKEA store, the ninth to appear in the country, included the lack of official authorization and the absence of a satisfactory ramp connecting the road to the shopping center.

"Permission from the state infrastructure monitoring agency has now been given and the deed of acceptance issued. Nothing can stop the opening of IKEA and Mega Mall," Novosibirsk Deputy Mayor Vladimir Shumilov said at the inauguration ceremony, RIA-Novosti reported.

Shumilov added that IKEA had built the required road junction giving access to the shopping center and received all the required paperwork.

"The postponement of the opening was not linked to any political issues. It was connected to technical matters and timing. That is now all settled," he said.

Per Kaufman, general director of IKEA in Russia, emphasized that his company had received the full support of city and regional authorities.

"We have enjoyed the support of the regional and city governments. We have also come to an understanding with regulatory authorities," Kaufman said.

Investments into IKEA and Mega Mall in Novosibirsk totaled about $250 million, RIA-Novosti reported. Of the sum, $150 million was contributed by IKEA, while the remaining sum was invested by tenants in the shopping center.

The Novosibirsk store has a total area of over 27,000 square meters, which includes 12,200 square meters of trading space. The shopping complex houses 170 separate companies, while the parking lot accommodates up to 6,000 vehicles.

The opening of IKEA's $300 million Mega Mall in Khimki, north of Moscow, was held up in 2004 by officials, who cited safety concerns over a gas pipeline. The mall opened two weeks later, after Moscow region Governor Boris Gromov intervened. In exchange, IKEA agreed to pay for measures to protect the pipeline and to build an offramp and overpass on Leningradskoye Shosse.

IKEA opened its 10th store in the country, in Rostov-on-Don, on Thursday.