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Hopes high for job increase as IKEA hunts for new site

SWEDISH furniture giant IKEA is searching for new sites in Ireland, boosting hopes that additional stores will create further employment opportunities.

The popular brand opened its first store in the republic in July last year.

IKEA Ballymun, which stretches over 30,000sqm, employs over 500 people across a variety of functions.

Now the company has confirmed that it is scouting out potential locations for new stores.

"With the success of the Ballymun store, IKEA has been identifying sites around Ireland for potential stores," the company confirmed in a statement.

IKEA recorded massive sales of €15.7m in the first 36 days of operations in Dublin.

It outlined that the daily footfall rose to 15,000 in the early weeks of the store opening which resulted in the firm hiring an additional 100 temporary staff.

Customers lashed out an average of €450,000 per day, according to accounts filed with the Companies Office.

The long-awaited opening of the firm's first Republic of Ireland store in Ballymun, Co Dublin had suffered much delay due to planning regulations, one of which was the upgrading of the Ballymun interchange off the M50 near the store.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that Ikea has appointed direct marketing specialist Lida to handle the ongoing development of its Family Loyalty programme in the UK and Ireland.

Ikano Financial Services will take on responsibility for managing the data elements of the programme, in addition to providing financial service solutions for Ikea.

Ikano is a sister company to Ikea, providing credit and loyalty solutions to several high-street brands.

"Our decision to work with Lida and Ikano follows an extensive industry review through which we looked at how we best work with agencies to fulfil the Ikea Family programme's total remit of data management, strategy and communication," said Claire Cain, relationship marketing manager for Ikea.

Meanwhile, a further 89 retail jobs have been created with the upgrade a Penneys store in High Street Kilkenny.

The fashion chain revealed that the new positions are in addition to the 26 currently employed by Penneys in the town.