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Ikea eyes billion-euro move into hotels

Swedish furniture giant Ikea plans a one-billion-euro move into the hotel sector, opening at least 100 hotels in Europe, according to a company executive cited by a Swedish daily.

“We’ve been searching for property across Europe for a while and we’ll announce in a few weeks where we’ll open our own hotel,” Svenska Dagbladet quoted as saying Harald Mueller, the Ikea group executive in charge of the project.

The daily said Ikea plans to open “at least 100 hotels” in Germany, Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands and the Baltic states.

Construction of the hotels will be funded from revenues from the Ikea brand, which the company recently valued at 9 billion euros, but will not bear the company logo and be operated by a hotel management company.

The hotels will also not be filled with furniture from Ikea, which specialises in inexpensive furnishings that consumers assemble themselves.

The investment is expected to total around one billion euros ($1.2 billion) according to Sevenska Dagbladet, although Ikea did not provide any figures.

Mueller said Ikea aims to open inexpensive and practical hotels in central locations.

“We’ll get rid of everything that’s unnecessary, like for example hotel restaurants and put in its place a good breakfast, high-speed Internet and an efficient reception with no formalities when one leaves the room,” he told the Swedish newspaper.

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