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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Bring IKEA to Delaware!

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Joanne Butler
Joanne Butler
Joanne Butler of Wilmington is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a former professional staff member of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I traveled to the Valley Forge area in search of the IKEA store. Finding that store was like a scavenger hunt – you could see the big blue store from the highway but secondary road access consisted of spaghetti-like loops. Shopping done, we parked in the loading station – next to another car with Delaware plates! So why isn’t there an IKEA in Delaware?

I’m not the only one asking this question.There’s a Facebook page for supporters of an IKEA at the Riverfront. Actually, I think that’s a bit restrictive, as it seems an important requirement for IKEA is that is must have frontage along a major highway.

While the Riverfront would be ideal, I think IKEA would want a high visibility location on I-95 I-295, or I-495. Imagine drivers going south on the Memorial Bridge and seeing a big blue IKEA store in the distance!

New Castle County Delaware has other factors that make it an ideal spot for a store. We have a major university (UDel) located near I-95, and students always need inexpensive furnishings. Plus millions of people pass through our county on their way to the beach – and they could stop at IKEA for beach and/or condo stuff.

And, of course, there are the many jobs that an IKEA would bring – jobs that Delaware needs.

Final note: 2013 would be the perfect year for IKEA to announce a move to Delaware as this year marks the 375th anniversary of the landing of the Swedish ship, the Kalmar Nyckel, in Wilmington and the establishment of the New Sweden colony.

So come on, IKEA, and establish your own “New” Sweden outpost here in Delaware!

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