In a world first for Brisbane, Swedish furniture giant IKEA will build an underground megastore in the heart of the city.
IKEA Group spokesman Ingmar Ingmarsson says the new retail outlet will be the largest and deepest shopping experience on the planet.
“For a long time, IKEA has been looking for an enormous space in the middle of Brisbane that no one was using.”
“Then someone mentioned the Clem7 tunnel.”
In a landmark deal, IKEA has been given permission to turn two lanes of the 4.8 km underground traffic tunnel into a furniture store.
The other two lanes will be used for tunnel patrons, most of whom are expected to be IKEA shoppers.
Befitting IKEA’s status as a charity, Mr Ingmarsson predicts the new store will heal the geographical shopping divide that currently exists in Brisbane.
“Our market research shows that people living on the northside of Brisbane are uncomfortable visiting a shop on the southside. And vice versa.”
“By building a store in the Clem7, IKEA plans to bring northsiders and southsiders together on neutral shopping ground.”
Underground IKEA to increase tunnel patronage
The conversion of the Clem7 to a retail outlet will also be a boon for the tunnel’s owners.
“Our market research shows people would rather give $5 to a drunk on the street than use it to pay the toll on the Clem7,” says Trace Pappa of Queensland Motorways.
“By building a giant underground IKEA in the Clem7, we’re confident of changing that mindset.”
Ms Pappa says the existing Clem7 toll will be removed and shoppers will instead access the underground IKEA by paying an annual membership fee.
“Costco at North Lakes has proved that Queenslanders are willing to pay a membership fee to get great shopping deals.”
“The Clem7 IKEA will be just like Costco. But 60 metres underground.”
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