ALMHULT, SWEDEN - IKEA, international manufacturer and retailer of home furnishings, plans to transform its first store in Almhult into an IKEA museum.

CNN reported that IKEA expects that converting its first store that opened in 1958 into a 75,000-square-foot museum, will attract about 200,000 visitors annually when it opens next year. The store was closed in 2012 and replaced by a new store to serve Almhult-area consumers.

"The first and only IKEA Museum will be 'a house of stories' about people, challenges, opportunities, design, homes and home furnishings," IKEA said.

The IKEA Through the Ages exhibit, currently on display of the basement of IKEA's cultural center in Almhult, provides a first glimpse of what the IKEA museum will be about. It features 20 different room settings comprised of IKEA furniture and objects from the 1940s until the present. Check out the accompanying slide show to view some of the exhibit's vignettes.

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Since opening its first store 56 years ago, IKEA as of last year operated 345 stores in 42 countries. Some 775 million in-store shoppers and 1.2 billion web visitors led to total sales of EUR 29.2 billion (approximately $39.7 billion).

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