Someone Pranked Maine Residents With Sign Promising New IKEA Store That Will Never Open

Image courtesy of Håkan Dahlström

While there are plenty of people interested in spreading cheer and goodwill during the holiday season, there are also those intent on making a lot of folks really, really sad. Such was the case in Portland, ME, where a prankster duped passers-by into believing that an empty lot would soon be the site of a new IKEA store.

The sign was first spotted on Christmas Day, reading “Future home of IKEA … Opening 2016,” as seen in a photo submitted to the Portland Press Herald.

Though the sign was removed soon after, several people had already posted photos of it on social media, wondering whether lingonberries and Swedish meatballs would soon be within their reach. Not gonna happen, says IKEA.

“We currently do not have plans to open a store in Portland, Maine,” IKEA Public Affairs Manager Joseph Roth told the Press Herald. “If we were opening in 2016, construction would have needed to begin already.”

The company hasn’t been seriously looking at Maine, and says that it isn’t currently a candidate for expansion. Plus, at only 2.5 acres, the site doesn’t have a big enough footprint needed for an IKEA store, which usually need about 25 to 35 acres.

It’s still a mystery as to who put the sign up in the first place, but you’ve got admit, a lot of work seemed to have gone into it.

“Somebody’s got a lot of time on their hands,” said Portland Deputy City Manager Anita LaChance, adding that the retailer has never approached the city about the possibility of opening a store.

Mystery sign says IKEA coming to Portland in 2016. But it isn’t. [Portland Press Herald]

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