Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ikea Store Destroyed

It's hard to imagine an entire IKEA store vanishing - but that is what happened in Israel early Saturday morning. A massive fire apparently started from the roof area at about 5:45 a.m. on Sat February 5, 2011. According to Israel's daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronot, 39 Israeli fire crews arrived at the blaze in an effort to save some of the premises - but the roof collapsed and the whole building was destroyed along with its contents. The damage is estimated at $150-$200 Million.

The store, located next to the coastal town of Netanya, about 15 minutes north of Ra'anana, was the first Ikea store to open in Israel in 2001 - and had traffic of some 7000 shoppers a day. It featured a fully kosher Ikea restaurant - serving things like Ikea's famous Swedesh meatballs and Swedish lox (smoked salmon). For the past few years, the store has been closed on Shabbat (Saturday). Since the fire occurred early Saturday morning - no one was inside the building and no injuries have been reported.

Fire marshalls are investigating the cause of the blaze. It seems amazing that a store of this size, containing such a tremendous amount of merchandise, would be so vulnerable and could be destroyed so quickly. One almost wonders if the building was simply put together like some Ikea shelves...

Store owners have indicated that they intend to have the premises rebuilt within six months - so tourists visiting Israel in the summer who are anxious to try some kosher Swedish meatballs will probably be okay. Likewise, the company intends to look after the hundreds of employees who will be out of work until the store reopens. As for Israelis who have ordered merchandise that is yet to be delivered...well...according to Yedioth, they are advised to make sure that they keep their receipts - just in case the orders have somehow gone missing...


  1. The merchandise is one of the factors why the store burned up quickly. However, it's still a good thing that no one got hurt. Did the management consider reconstructing it? People near the store would probably be glad to hear such news.

    Santo Caridine

  2. The Ikea store in Netanya, Israel will apparently reopen at some point during the first half of 2012, according to an Israeli news report in Globes media. Ikea will apparently hire about 300 employees, both new and returning workers and has already begun hiring some. A third store is planned for the Haifa, Israel area for 2013.