Hej Då! A man wearing what appears to be a bright yellow Ikea uniform was recently seen walking in Downtown San Francisco, potentially signaling the company’s commitment to opening its Market Street store this year.
A Twitter user also reported that the store’s iconic blue and yellow branding has been posted, showing the Ikea’s interior filled with what looks like empty stock shelves.
The long-awaited furniture store is slated to anchor the new Livat Mall, close to a former Whole Foods that shuttered in early April. Ikea started construction on the 87,000-square-foot space in February 2022 after purchasing the empty mall for nearly $200 million. Livat is Swedish for “lively happening.”
The Swedish company is currently hiring in San Francisco, with numerous part- and full-time openings listed on their site. Listed positions include design planners, retail associates and receptionists.
Downtown stakeholders are hopeful that the new mall, with Ikea as its focal point, will help liven up San Francisco’s struggling Mid-Market neighborhood.
Ikea announced in April it will have round-the-clock security at the new store, just a week after the nearby Whole Foods announced its abrupt closure due to staff safety concerns.
“The safety of our co-workers and customers is always the highest priority for Ikea. Ikea San Francisco, which will be part of a new meeting place from Ingka Centres on Market Street, will be staffed with a security team at all times,” an Ikea spokesperson said in an email in April.
It’s unclear exactly when the new Ikea store will open as Ingka Centres, Ikea’s parent company, has changed the furniture store’s opening date numerous times. Prior information from the company said the store would be open by the end of 2023.
Ikea did not respond to multiple requests for an update on when the store would open by publication time. The Standard was unable to verify if the worker spotted was actually an Ikea employee.
“We strive to have excellent partnerships with all local, state and federal authorities, including law enforcement, and work in tandem with them as any situation requires,” said an Ikea spokesperson in April. “While we are energetically moving forward with construction, we remain committed to the site and will be sharing our exciting plans for the grand opening celebration of Ikea San Francisco in the coming months.”
Ingka Centres acquired the Livat Mall property from MSP Property LLP in September 2020, and announced at the time it expected to open the Ikea store in fall 2021. In July 2022, the mall’s architect, Gensler, filed plans to renovate the property for $10.6 million. It was previously known as the 6x6 mall.
Liz Lindqwister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org