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© 2017 Citizen Relations

IKEA Winnipeg Store Opening

Citizen got all of Canada talking about the new IKEA store that was opening in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 28, 2012. Over a nine month period, news about the opening created anticipation and eagerness, resulting in 280 times more coverage than there are residents in Winnipeg. Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz was quoted as saying, “You know your city has made it when you have both an NHL franchise and an IKEA. Today, we have made it.”

The Ask

  • Generate awareness and conversation around the IKEA store opening, the most anticipated store opening in Winnipeg history
  • Develop a sustained media engagement strategy to play off of the exclusivity of the opening. This opening was  the first new IKEA in Canada since 1982, with only 11 stores in the Canadian market to date
  • Create a must-attend event for consumers, media and influencers

What we did

  • Release key messages and exclusive opportunities over a nine month period
  • Dissect media coverage to determine Winnipegger’s thoughts and attitudes about IKEA
  • Organize a media trip to company headquarters in Sweden with Tier-A media
  • Launch “Learn IKEA” to the media and public
  • Invite Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, Elder Elmer Courchene, Grand Chief Derek Nepinak and Swedish Consul General Neil Carlson to speak at the opening
  • Invite 250 media to a private shopping event
  • Organize contest for first 1,000 in line at opening


  • Generated over 170 million impressions from over 850 stories
  • Secured over 10 Tier-A media to attend the opening ceremony including CTV, Global and the Winnipeg Free Press
  • News of the opening was reported nationally in the National Post and was a “top news trend” on Google News Canada
  • Over 300 media at exclusive shopping event
  • Drove over 2,000 consumers to the opening ceremony and over 20,000 shoppers visited the store on opening day
  • Over 1,000 people lined up for the opening starting at 12:01 AM to exceed goal by 100 per cent