The next IKEA store, which was schedule to open in late October 2011, will now open at the end of the year.

The new opening date for its Tempe store in NSW has been proposed as the result of road works being conducted by the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) on Princes Highway, which requires the building of a ‘slip lane’ to mitigate any traffic congestion around the store.

Whilst the design of the slip lane has been approved by the RTA, the implementation of this work will take longer than originally anticipated due to the presence of a clearway on Princes Highway.

Work on areas where there is a clearway is heavily regulated and needs to be undertaken outside of peak hour which requires that some of the work will be conducted during the night.

Despite this, the construction of the store and its fitout is still on schedule.

David Hood, IKEA Australia (East) country manager, said that whilst a later opening date is disappointing, it is critical that the roadwork be carried out accurately so as to minimise impact on local residents and commuters and ensure customers could access the store easily.

The Tempe store will be the IKEA Group’s fifth store in Australia and at 39,000 metres square, it will be the largest free-standing retailer in the Southern hemisphere.