Updated: Saturday, 10 May 2014 01:40 | By Agence France-Presse

Ikea to open museum in its first shop in Sweden

For many Ikea means a weekend trip to the shops, but the Swedish flatpack furniture giant on Friday unveiled plans to make it a much more cultural experience by turning its first store into a museum.

Ikea to open museum in its first shop in Sweden

A forklift truck moves in a storage hall in IKEA Distribution central store in Aelmhult, on December 2, 2004 - by Sven Nackstrand

"The first Ikea store was open here in Aelmhult, and in 2012 it moved to a new site. That gives us the opportunity to use this building for a museum," managing director for the site of the future museum Michele Acuna told AFP.

The museum should open in 2015. 

Ikea was founded in 1943 not far from  the southern Swedish town of Malmoe, a largely rural area lacking major tourist attractions. 

There is already an 800-square-metre (8600-square-feet) exhibition space dedicated to the history of its products in another building, but Ikea has made an official request to renovate the former flagship store to host 3,500 square metres of exhibition space. 

"We have seen that there is a lot of interest in our history of 70 years," Acuna said, citing the frequent visits  Danes, Germans and even Dutchmen.

"We intend to tell stories not only on our product range but also on how the Ikea business developed and about people, and of course to give a fun and interactive experience to visitors," she added.

The company did not reveal how much money it intended to invest in the museum, which it hopes to attract around 200,000 visitors per year.

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