IKEA plans further stores in Eastern Europe

IKEA is going to open its first retail store in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia by the end of 2009, according to the Bulgarian newspaper Pari Daily.

Bulgaria has been chosen as the site of the IKEA store because of the increased demand for furniture caused by the boom in construction of new apartments, the report said.

Froulis, the Greek company that is IKEA's authorized licensee in the region, is planning to open three IKEA stores in the Balkans in 2009 and a total of 11 to 12 IKEA stores by 2013 -- two of which will be located in Bulgaria.

In February, Froulis signed a preliminary contract for the purchase of land in Sofia for the construction of the IKEA store.