The Swedish furniture and home accessories giant IKEA annouced Tuesday that it plans to open a fifth store in Israel — in the small community of Eshtaol, near Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem.
Expected to stretch over some 25,000 square meters (270,000 square feet) and to employ around 400 people, the new branch is set to open in early 2020.
A foundation stone was laid Tuesday in the presence of Matthew Bronfman and Shalom Fisher, owners of the IKEA Israel franchise, and IKEA Israel CEO Shuki Koblenz.
IKEA’s first Israeli store opened in the coastal city of Netanya in 2001, and was followed by branches in Rishon Lezion, in the center of the country; in Kiryat Atta in the north; and, earlier this year, in the southern city of Beersheba.
The decision to build the fifth store in Eshtaol reportedly follows fruitless attempts to find an appropriate site in Jerusalem.