Ikea Closing 115K-SF Queens Outpost in December

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Ikea plans to close its 115,000-square-foot Queens outpost inside the Rego Center mall in December, less than two years after opening its doors.

The Swedish retailer sent an email to customers Wednesday morning notifying them that the store inside Vornado Realty Trust’s three-story shopping center at 96-05 Queens Boulevard would sell its last piece of flat-packed furniture Dec. 3.

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“We have been testing and trying many new things, and we were very proud to bring the first Ikea store to Queens in January 2021,” a spokesperson for Ikea said in a statement. “However, as we all know the world has continually shifted since then, and we have had to evolve our business and accelarate our transformation to ensure our business remains both profitable and viable for the future.”

A spokesperson for Vornado did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ikea signed a 10-year lease with Vornado in 2019 to open its first Queens store as part of its push to plant smaller-format stores in city centers around the world. The smaller Ikeas are roughly half the size of its typical 400,000-square-foot warehouses.

The Queens store, which opened in January 2021, had “thousands” of smaller Ikea goods available for sale but only offered larger furniture pieces via delivery, Ikea previously said.

While Ikea continues to open other smaller-format stores in different cities, its other New York City effort was as short-lived as its Queens stint.

Ikea opened a 17,530-square-foot “Ikea Planning Studio” at 999 Third Avenue on the Upper East Side in 2019 but shuttered it a little more than a year later because of low foot traffic and high rent, Patch reported. The brand said it was still looking to open another Manhattan location in the future.

Ikea hasn’t ditched New York City altogether as its 6.5-acre outpost in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which opened in 2008, remains in business.

Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from Ikea.

Nicholas Rizzi can be reached at nrizzi@commercialobserver.com.