Halifax IKEA on target, recruiting for 300 jobs

As originally seen in the The Chronicle Herald: thechronicleherald.ca

All the jobs at IKEA Canada’s $100-million store being built at Dartmouth Crossing are expected to be filled by as early as May.

“We are actively recruiting approximately 300 (employees) to join the team in Halifax,” Amanda Fitzpatrick, an IKEA spokeswoman, said in an interview Wednesday. “There are jobs available in areas such as logistics, sales, interior design, information technology and food.”

The top spot has already been filled. In November, IKEA announced the hiring of New Glasgow-raised retailing exec Sue Coulet. Since then, the retailer has also filled​ several ​jobs in human resources, logistics and business development.

When the store was first announced, IKEA officials said there would be 350 people working there. Wednesday, Fitzpatrick ​did not confirm that total number of employees. The IKEA spokeswoman also refused to divulge the employees’ average salary or benefits.

Until the Halifax IKEA store is completed sometime this autumn, the retailer’s new hires will be undergoing training and helping set up the inside of the store.

“In addition to the training and on​-​boarding the ​(new employees) receive for their specific roles, they will also assist with the interior buildup of the new store,” said Fitzpatrick. “This includes helping to build the destination that will be the IKEA Halifax store, including showcasing the full range of IKEA products and our locally-relevant inspirational room sets in the IKEA showroom, as well as setting up the market hall, Smaland (play area), and our restaurant.”

The massive, two-storey outlet ​is being built off ​a road which is an extension of Countryview Drive ​and ​will boast 328,000 square feet of retail space and will include a warehouse and playroom as well as a restaurant.

Construction of the store, which is being overseen by general contractor Bird Construction, is on track. Although the roof is not done, the walls are up.

“We are currently installing the blue and yellow exterior panels of the store, and the roof is on over the future showroom and market hall locations,” said Fitzpatrick. “We hope to have the building fully enclosed by May so that we can begin working on turning the interior into an IKEA store.”

​An exact date for completion of the store is not being provided by IKEA. Fitzpatrick said Wednesday there are too many factors which could affect the opening date, including Nova Scotia’s weather.​

Among the green initiatives built into the outlet will be a rooftop solar photo-voltaic installation to provide electricity to the store, and geothermal energy generation to support heating and cooling needs. All of the lighting in the store will consist of energy-efficient LED bulbs.

“Waste management equipment will be installed to maximize material recycling and diversion from landfill​s,​ and a free take-back service will be offered for household batteries and light bulbs to ensure the hazardous materials are contained and recycled responsibly,” said Fitzpatrick.

The Halifax store is the first to be announced as part of a coast-to-coast expansion by the retailer which will double the number of ​its stores ​in Canada ​over the coming decade.

In Nova Scotia, the return of IKEA has been long awaited. A franchise IKEA store, their first in North America, opened in Halifax in 1975, only to close 12 years later.

Wednesday, Fitzpatrick would not divulge what revenue targets the new IKEA store will have to hit to be considered a reasonable return on the company’s investment and remain open.​

During its 2016 fiscal year​ which ended Aug. 31, IKEA Canada had sales of $2.05 billion, up 14.2 per cent from 2015. That was the second consecutive year the retailer saw double-digit growth in Canada.

That same year, IKEA undertook an extensive revamping of its restaurants and market halls across the country and saw its store sales climb 12.7 per cent, and its online revenues jump 41.3 per cent.

Across Canada, ​the company employs more than 5,400 people.
Halifax Ikea On Target, Recruiting For 300 Jobs : News & Media : Bird Construction