“On Friday morning I spoke with IKEA’s Real Estate Manager Bob Grimsley who shared that, because of IKEA’s evolving business model, there will be no store in Cary. They are moving away from suburban big box retail outlets and into global city centers. We are obviously very disappointed.
IKEA CEO Jesper Brodin has been sharing details of the company’s new direction to bring more operations online, push into new markets like India and South America, while developing smaller city center store formats in places like London and Tokyo.
We are thankful that the decision came before the store was built and people were employed there. And the timing also gives the mall’s owners, CBL, an incredible opportunity to reimagine the entire site and the future of this part of the Eastern Cary Gateway.
When I asked whether there was anything Cary could do to influence IKEA’s decision, I was told that there was nothing; not even an incentive would make a difference. IKEA said they had an extremely positive view of and experience with the Town Council, our staff, the mall site, and Cary as a whole.
The bottom line is that as wonderful a place as Cary is, we are just too suburban for IKEA’s new direction. With this in mind, it’s critical that we continue working hard to implement our Imagine Cary Community Plan, which calls for higher densities in our Eastern Cary Gateway as well as downtown.”
Cary Town Manager Sean R. Stegall