Palestinians living in the West Bank may soon get a taste of Western middle class living after IKEA said it is considering setting up one of its signature megastores in Ramallah.
Last month two VIPs from the international do-it-yourself furniture chain visited the Palestinian Authority to meet with PA Minister of National Economy Jawad al-Naji, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.
While on the political level Israeli and Palestinian politicians have trouble sitting together at the table, in the world of IKEA, fitting square pegs into round holes is apparently much easier. Talks are already underway for new employees of the West Bank site to receive training at the Israeli IKEA employee training center in Netanya.
There are two branches of IKEA in Israel, one in Netanya and the other in Rishon Lezion, both of which have attracted hordes of shoppers eager to purchase furniture that can be put together — at least in theory — quickly and simply at home. IKEA shops don’t come small: The Rishon Lezion branch sprawls over 36,000 square meters while that in Netanya is 26,000 square meters in size. A third, 30,000-square-meter branch is scheduled to open in Kiryat Ata in 2014.
The addition of a Palestinian Authority IKEA store will benefit the Israeli branches by simplifying the supply of parts and stock to the whole area, the report said.
There is also talk of establishing IKEA Point stores in Jerusalem and Beersheba. The Point stores are smaller versions of the IKEA megastore.