IKEA expands again in state

Call center opening Monday will employ 180 in Owings Mills

Unit to be its fourth in Md.

February 09, 2002|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

IKEA International A/S plans to open a call center in White Marsh Monday, the Swedish Home furnishings retailer said yesterday.

The center on Franklin Square Drive will be one of two centers taking calls from catalog customers and others seeking information.

It will also become IKEA's fourth business operation planned or open in the state. There is an IKEA store in White Marsh and another planned in College Park.

FOR THE RECORD - A headline in Saturday's Business section had the wrong location for Ikea's new call center in Baltimore County. The center is in White Marsh.
The Sun regrets the error.

And the company recently announced that it would build a 1.7 million-square-foot distribution center in Perryville.

"We are extremely excited about this opening and about growing in the Baltimore region - this is home to us," said Pat Gray, general manager of IKEA Customer Care Centers.

"Our daily call volume demands a new stand-alone facility. We can now improve our service to the `invisible' electronic customer who shops or requests service by Internet, e-mail, fax and, primarily, by phone."

The center will employ 180 workers seven days a week. It was built for IKEA as part of Franklin Ridge, Nottingham Properties' office complex.

The new facility will bolster plans by the company to open more than 50 new stores in North America in 10 years. IKEA now has 15 U.S. stores, including the one in White Marsh. The company has 164 stores in 31 countries.

"We're glad IKEA has chosen a home here in White Marsh," said Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. "We've been working hard to build better neighborhoods in Baltimore County, and to do that you must have a solid business base."

No county or state incentives were offered to the company.

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