IKEA opens new West Coast DC
When home-furnishing giant Ikea builds something for itself, it typically takes more than a screwdriver and an Allen wrench.
On Wednesday, the Swedish firm opened a new $75 million distribution center in the Puget Sound city of Fredrickson, its seventh in North American and second on the West Coast.
The 646,000-square-foot facility, intended to serve the firm's stores in Western Canada, Washington, Oregon and Utah, will be fed by the nearby ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Ikea officials said the center will receive goods from 1,300 suppliers in 54 countries.
Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire was on hand to welcome Ikea during the opening festivities, which featured the sawing of a ceremonial log and a traditional Swedish smorgasbord.
Ikea officials said the facility employs 125 workers and features an automated pick-and-pack system utilizing 32 rechargeable forklifts that can reach the top of the center's 100-foot-tall storage racks.
Located on a 65-acre parcel that Ikea purchased for nearly $8.7 million, the facility could be expanded to more than 1 million square feet.
Founded in 1943, Ikea has 285 stores in 36 countries.
The iconic name is actually an acronym for founder Ingvar Kamprad and his Swedish hometown, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd. The firm is owned by Kamprad’s Netherlands-based charitable foundation, Stichting Ingka.