Ikea's push into Japan is halted

Ikea's plans to enter the Japanese market next year have been hit by construction hitches.

It intended to open a store in Funabashi, near Tokyo, in September, but work on the distribution centres is behind schedule, according to local press reports. It is now likely to open in 2006 at the earliest.

Ikea has a presence in 31 countries and is preparing to push into the Ukraine. It is investing EUR250 million (£165.4 million) in a Kiev store, due to open next year. It hopes to open up to three stores a year.

No comment was available from Ikea.