I could not believe my good fortune when I was able to snag an invite to the Press Preview of the new IKEA store in Charlotte North Carolina. On Wednesday, February 11th, exactly one week before the official opening, I joined dozens of others for lunch and a tour.
I was told that we’d have some treats to sample, but I was pleasantly surprised at the expansive selection of food they had for us: salmon, caviar, herring, cheeses, fruit, pastries, ham, potatoes, fruit, and a nice array of desserts. I even had my first lingonberry juice – it was great!
We were divided into groups: I was in BUMERANG (as in the wooden hangers that IKEA later told us went down in price from $8.95/pack to now selling for $3.95/pack!)
As we toured the model rooms, I recognized most of the items from visiting other stores, the website, or the catalog. Nothing really jumped out at me as particularly unique, however I noticed that for others who were less familiar with IKEA, they “oohed” and “ahhed” at every turn.
The kitchen department at IKEA is my favorite. When we moved into our house five years ago, I knew we were going to have to redo the kitchen. It is “vintage” 1960s — and not in a good way. I have been living with an ugly, dysfunctional kitchen in the hopes that eventually we will be able to gut the whole thing and remodel it with all IKEA stuff. I just can’t imagine having any other kitchen! So I’ll keep putting up with the one I have until I can get the one I want. Pictured here is one of the kitchens at the IKEA Charlotte store that I really liked.
As I went through the tour I was trying to make mental notes of what I want to be sure to get when I come back on Opening Day. I have been writing and rewriting my shopping list for weeks. Of course, I have to remind myself that unlike before when I had to travel 4-6 hours to IKEA and load up on everything I could fit into the van, now I will have an IKEA only 35 minutes away. My new problem will be wanting to go every day! This is really an unfortunate time for me to be living on a smaller budget. But that’s what makes IKEA so awesome — you can get a lot of gorgeous and fun items for your home, and not ruin your budget.
Here is one of their showrooms that really inspired me. I have always loved that green color, and recently am using a lot of browns in my decorating. I also like how the IKEA designers work within color schemes so we can mix and match our purchases to create a personal, but pulled-together look.
As we headed down to the marketplace, I was reminded how much more there was to see! I always love walking through the lighting department. I think we have an IKEA light fixture in every room of our home.
After the tour, we were given a pack of fresh cinnamon rolls, a set of VARMELJUSHALLARE candles, a media kit on a flash drive, and several fliers to share with friends. And it all came in an IKEA small blue bag.
Overall, I was impressed, but not surprised, with the great job that the Charlotte store did. They extended a warm welcome to the press and showed us exactly why the IKEA concept is so inspiring.
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People, Store Openings