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Thursday, 20 September, 2001, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Ikea unpacks its latest store
An Ikea store in England
Staff have been drafted in from other Ikea stores
A new furniture store. estimated to be the size of 10 football pitches, has opened near Glasgow.

Ikea, the Swedish retailer, opened its doors to its biggest store in the UK at Braehead on Thursday.

The company already has an outlet near Edinburgh and it estimates both stores will attract as many as 5m shoppers over the next year.

During the opening ceremony, Goran Nilsson, the UK country manager, said the firm planned to open 20 new stores across Britain in the next 10 years.

Glasgow's opening is a very important step for us in the new century

Goran Nilsson, UK manager

The company has made a name for providing self-assembly furniture and has been slowly expanding its operation in Britain.

Staff have been brought in from across the UK for the last minute rush to get the Braehead store ready for its opening.

A number of people camped outside the store to cash in on some special opening offers and more than 80,000 people are expected to visit over the next five days.

Ikea has said that if it finds the Glasgow store does not satisfy demand for its products it will open a third store in Scotland.

Mr Nilsson sawed a large wooden log in front of 2,500 people, saying his actions represented the "thriftiness, functionality and quality", of Ikea.

He said: "Glasgow's opening is a very important step for us in the new century and sets the benchmark for our future projects."

First customers

Elizabeth Ashe and Kirsty West, both from Renfrew, had been queuing outside the store since Tuesday evening.

They each received 1,000 worth of vouchers for being the first customers

Meanwhile, the police are warning of possible delays on the M8 motorway around the Braehead centre over the next few days following the opening of Ikea.

Ikea logo
The new store is the biggest in the UK

Measures are in place to ease the situation, but the police advise leaving plenty of extra time for journeys around the area.

Richard Ansell, Ikea store manager in Glasgow, said: "We have contributed some significant sums to improve the road network around the area.

"These have been carried out by Capital Shopping Centres on our behalf - so it should make things function more smoothly for us than it would have done originally."

Gillian Marles reports
"The store has been a long time on the drawing board"
Gillian Marles reports
"Staff have been brought in from across the UK to deal with the last minute rush"
See also:

28 Jul 00 | Europe
Ikea's self-assembled billionaire
19 Jun 00 | Business
Ikea expands in UK
07 Nov 99 | Scotland
Chaos prompts renewed Ikea car plea
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