JOLIET, Ill. – Swedish ready-to-assemble furniture maker and retailer IKEA has begun construction on its new Midwest distribution center located in Joliet, Illinois - 48 miles southwest of Chicago. Set to open in the spring of 2018, the approximately 1.25-million-square-foot distribution center will be designed and built by Gray Construction, a nationally recognized engineering, architecture and construction firm. Gray has designed and built more than 250 distribution facilities across the U.S., including other IKEA distribution centers.
“We are pleased that construction has begun in Joliet for our Midwest distribution center, which will support our growing presence in that region of the country,” said Lars Petersson, IKEA U.S. president. “As we become even more accessible nationwide by opening new stores, this distribution center will help meet the home furnishing needs of Midwestern customers. We appreciate the support of Joliet city officials and staff for helping advance this project.”
With nearly, 1,000 suppliers in 50 countries, IKEA globally transports products to its stores through regional distribution centers. This Midwestern facility will complement the current U.S. distribution network comprised of two fulfillment centers on the west coast and three on the east. Its central location will allow goods to be received at coastal ports from both Asia and Europe and then transported inland to the Joliet facility. The facility’s proximity to a nearby railroad intermodal will provide additional long-term transportation options too.
Operating this distribution center will eliminate 7,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, with more reductions expected via future intermodal solutions.
In terms of contributing to the local economy, this project will result in construction-related jobs and nearly 100 positions at the distribution center, plus property tax revenue generated for local governments and schools. In addition, IKEA is evaluating potential on-site power generation to complement its current U.S. renewable energy presence at nearly 90% of its U.S. locations.
This project represents the fourth significant investment by IKEA in the state of Illinois. Besides this future Joliet distribution center, there are two IKEA stores in the Chicagoland area, in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg. Additionally, last year, IKEA purchased a 49-turbine wind farm in Hoopeston, IL that is now operational.
There are currently more than 380 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 41 in the U.S., where there also are five operating distribution centers.
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