IKEA Southampton Opens February 12th 2009
IKEA Southampton, UK is due to open on Thursday, February 12th – the first UK IKEA built in a city centre and the Swedish furniture giant’s 254th store worldwide. IKEA anticipates the Southampton IKEA being an important testing ground logistically due to the location in the center of an urban area.
City officials, police and IKEA top level managers have been working together to ensure no repeat of the riot that took place when the IKEA in North London was opened in 2005. A man was stabbed and others injured in the crush that took place at the door on Grand Opening Day. IKEA was forced to shut its doors only 30 minutes after opening.
Says IKEA Southampton Store Manager, Allesandra Taffe,
Of course we want people to come on the opening day, it is quite exciting and there will be some offers which will be quite good for customers, but not crazy.
It’s not in anybody’s interest to have mass chaos, certainly not ours,we want the shopping experience to be a good one.
Taffe previously managed the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania US IKEA store for 4 1/2 years, and will manage 500 co-workers at the new IKEA Southampton. These local co-workers will be joined by over 100 IKEA co-workers from around the world who will help prepare and launch the store.
Staff will be on hand at the entrance to help “IKEA virgins” find what they are after and there will be a crèche where parents can dump their children to shop in relative peace.
Don’t forget to buy the kiddies a frozen yogurt after ‘dumping’ them off!
[Image via The Daily Echo]