Swedish flat-pack giants arrive
It's a mecca for bargain-hunters across Europe.
And tomorrow, thousands are expected to flood through the doors of IKEA when it opens its first store in Ireland.
So hyped is the opening of the shop by the Swedish furniture giant, that a special traffic plan has been put into operation in Belfast. Additional PSNI officers will be on the beat and a PSNI helicopter on standby.
Belfast's Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers and store manager Paul Reid will officially declare the new 29,000 sqm store open at 10am through the company's traditional log-cutting ceremony.
The flagship store has carried out an advertising blitz in recent weeks, distributing over 640,000 catalogues to households in the North.
But thousands of people from the South are also expected to take advantage of the cheaper flatpack furniture.
Located at the Holywood Exchange close to Belfast's George Best Airport, the IKEA store is equivalent to 5.5 football pitches. It has over 50 showrooms, a market hall and a warehouse stocking the full range of IKEA products totalling 9,500 items.
The new store is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly stores in the UK and will recycle 90pc -- approximately 1500 tonnes -- of its waste in 2008. Tomorrow's opening will mark the 270th IKEA store in the world and will employ over 450 people.