IKEA to WNY?

Rochester suburb scouted for possible location

Tom Puckett
January 30, 2018 - 4:00 am

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Henrietta, NY (WBEN) IKEA recently scouted the Rochester suburb of Henrietta for a possible location for a new store. The town's supervisor and a retail analyst both say it would be huge for the region.

Supervisor Steve Schultz says he first heard about the tour in December. "They did the tour, but they didn't report back after they were done," says Schultz. He did point IKEA officials to the Marketplace Mall and a couple of industrial areas.

Schults says landing IKEA would be huge. "It has a huge draw, could pull from as far as Buffalo and Syracuse. Henrietta is at the crossroads of the 390 and has easy access for anyone coming to those areas," says Schultz. He says there's been no word on a timeline on a decision. 

AUDIO:  Henrietta Supervisor Steve Schultz

Schultz says he would personally love to see IKEA in the mall because malls are struggling across the country and IKEA could anchor it for years to come.

Retail analyst Burt Flickinger says IKEA likes to be co-located with a top regional retailer. In this case, it could be Wegmans. "They get their Rochester educated customer, with a lot of great college students, so high level education and high level understanding of price and value could put IKEA in Rochester, then in Buffalo-Niagara, proving to be the game changer," says Flickinger. He says there has been no rumblings about IKEA's interest in Buffalo, but with IKEA's search for high level of education and co-locators with a flagship retailer, it's likely to do that Rochester as well as Buffalo.

AUDIO: Retail guru Burt Flickinger

Flickinger says if IKEA comes to Western New York, it will start in Rochester, then 15 to 20 months after opening there, would come to Buffalo.

Flickinger says IKEA is the game changer, "especially with the Bon-Ton group struggling in terms of cash flow and closings from JCPenney and Macy's, the furniture market may be underserved in the Buffalo and Rochester markets, IKEA may the right place at the right time for WNY."

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