The first Bulgarian store of the Swedish furniture giant IKEA aims at attracting over 1.5 million visitors during the first year after its opening.
The information was announced by the Greek Fourlis company, which has the IKEA franchise rights for Bulgaria.
The first IKEA store is located on the capital Sofia's beltway and is scheduled to open on September 29th.
The free furniture catalogue is being distributed starting Friday to households in the city in 750 000 copies. The prices listed inside are valid until August, 2012. In addition to Sofia, the catalogue will be distributed in the cities of Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Pernik and Kuystendil.
Fourlis further announced the company aims at having 10% of the market during the first year and later become a leader, but declined giving details on expected revenues. The company's management stresses they would focus on having 1.5 million of visitors, which would be deemed a greater success than a large turnover, the Bulgarian Dnevnik daily writes.
Bulgaria has no official data on the furniture market in the country, but according to companies' experts and consultants it ranges between BGN 450 and 550 M, meaning IKEA's sales in the first year could reach BGN 45 to 55 M.
The first IKEA store in Bulgaria will have an area of 29 000 square meters and 1 200 parking spots in the parking lot and garage. It will offer 7 500 products with 55 furnished room models and three different-size apartments.
The plans for its launch date from 2008, but construction did not start until 2010 with the main reason for the delay being the beltway repair works. The road must reopen before the official start of the store.
IKEA plans opening a second store in the Black Sea capital of Varna, but the project is in a very early stage.
With 324 stores in 38 countries IKEA is the largest furniture trader in the world. In 2010, the company's turnover is estimated at EUR 24 B. In addition to Bulgaria, Fourlis is developing the furniture chain in Greece and Cyprus.