Possible Ikea return to Halifax prompts Twitter buzz from those who miss shop

HALIFAX -- Ikea is making a big announcement in Halifax on Friday, sparking fevered speculation the Scandinavian furniture chain is returning to Atlantic Canada.

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Ikea Canada said its president, Stefan Sjostrand, will join the city's mayor, Mike Savage, Friday for a news conference.

Neither the company nor the mayor would confirm that means the return of the shop to Halifax, after it departed the region in the late 1980s.

But Savage did allow that he's an Ikea fan and said it would be exciting if the rumours prove correct and added he is awaiting Friday's announcement with bated breath.

Meanwhile, comments are flowing on Twitter from hopeful potential customers, some of whom recall when the store set up in the province in 1975 and have grown weary of ordering by mail.

Pamela MacKinnon tweeted, "love is when your man offers to shop at the Ottawa Ikea for you, because we sadly don't have one."

Another user, Karen McGrath, pleaded: "Eeek! Please come to Halifax Ikea!"

Matina AuCoin, the owner of Zephyr Rug and Home in Halifax, said in a telephone interview she prefers to support local businesses and buys from Canadian furniture manufacturers.

But the local businesswoman says if Ikea does return to the city, it might keep some shoppers circulating and business in the region.

"Someone's creating buzz," she said.

An Ikea spokeswoman said in an email that the company will not release further details until the announcement.

In November the firm announced plans to double its number of stores in Canada over the next 10 years.

The company says on its website it is planning five smaller pick-up and order stores in Quebec and Ontario.



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