Get ready! It’s another IKEA USA store in the south! IKEA Tampa, to be the largest IKEA in Florida, is scheduled to open its doors on May, 6th, 2009 at 9am. IKEA fans can begin lining up at 9am on Monday, May 4th in advance of the opening!
From the Tampa Bay Business Journal, IKEA Tampa to Open Its Doors on May 6th:
Ikea will open its Tampa location on May 6. It will be the company’s third in Florida, following stores in Orlando and Sunrise.
The 353,000-square-foot Tampa store is located on 29 acres along Adamo Drive at 22nd Street and the Crosstown Expressway.
The home furnishings store began recruiting staff in January after naming Monica Varela as manager in December. It will employ about 400 people. Its construction created about 500 jobs, a release said.
The store will feature 10,000 exclusively designed items, 49 room settings and three model home interiors. It will also include a 350-seat restaurant.
Ikea first announced plans to build a store in Tampa in March 2007. The company operates 290 stores worldwide, including 36 in the United States.
We’ve already received some interest in blogging about the opening and at/from the opening – if you’re interested, just email us at Submissions@positivefanatics.com. Look forward to hearing from you!
Ms. Eva reporting in from the safe and warm comforts of home.
The grand opening of Ikeas 36th store in the US went without a glitch (well sorta . . . if you count the horrific weather prompting Mr. Castanon to open the store 15 minutes early or the fact that they had to call a Mulligan on the log sawing).
The lines were long but it was a very positive atmosphere despite the cold rain. I was roughly the 140th (give or take a few) person in line & from my viewpoint the Ikea staff worked really hard to keep everyone as comfortable and as welcome as they could – nothing but bright shining faces against the harsh elements. They passed out doughnuts, apple juice (there was a rumor of coffee but I saw none), keychains, beach balls, little squishy chairs and frisbees. Yes I scored them all. They also gave out yellow rain ponchos . . . those were a godsend!
The Charlotte Children’s Choir sounded amazing, I actually got a little choked up hearing them sing our National Anthem and America the Beautiful. Kudos to them and their director. My favorite moment during the ceremony itself was when the Mayor of Charlotte told the folks that had been waiting in line since Monday that they were “crazy.”
Yes, we were all were crazy . . . it was freezing! Snow would have been more comfortable to stand in, you can at least brush snow off. The rain permeated through our already cold bodies. But like I said, it was a dedicated group of shoppers. A handful of folks bailed out when they realized that they were not going to get the free Poang chair (apparently they didn’t do their homework). But for the most part I can safely say the staff of Ikea did their best given the circumstances.
Pictures to come later . . . as soon as I recharge my phone & defrost my feet!
Ms. Eva reporting in!
I’ll make this brief since it’s very hard to type with gloves on and my laptop battery can only last for so long.
I made my arrival at 3:30 this morning & my current position is on the far corner of the building.
Basically folks . . . it’s C-O-L-D outside! Lugging my stuff to the coveted “end of the line” I developed a major asthma attack and the INCREDIBLY AWESOME COUPLE next to me in line found me an outlet for my nebulizer and looked after me until I was feeling better.
Just as I was feeling human again . . . it started to rain!
I’m in my pop-up tent waiting it out.
That’s about it for now.
The place looks like a Swedish refugee camp . . . folks huddled in sleeping bags . . . little tent cities.
It makes me realize what little survival skills I do have.
I may never do this again . . . unless it’s summer . . . and they’re opening in Myrtle Beach . . .
THEN I would consider it!
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—There was a tiny note at the bottom of IKEA’s advertisement in the Sunday paper that said, “Line up begins no earlier than February 16, 2009.” Who would have thought anyone would line up two days in advance of the store’s February 18 opening?
“I’m just here for the fun of it. I’m just here to have some fun…say ‘I did it.’ I like IKEA, been to a few stores, and I just said, ‘You know what? Why not?” Mark Whitten said.
He took two days off work from his job at the post office and arrived at 6 a.m. Monday. “Kind of early…just a wee bit,” he joked.
With him, Whitten had a tent, an air mattress, several layers of blankets, an iPod with speakers, a laptop and an internet connection.
One tent down, Yatzzili Arrayo had similar reinforcements. Rafael Smith, third in line, said his friends were bringing a Wii and a television. Fourth in line, Ruben Ortega didn’t have a tent.
“I guess I got caught up in the fanfare a little bit. I told my wife I was going to drive there and see if there is anybody there,” he said. “I got here right when they were running and putting their tents up. I thought…. guess I’ve gotta sit, and once I sat down it was like ah, well, can’t leave now.”
“It’s humbling and flattering that no matter where we go we have customers who are excited to open the stores,” IKEA’s Joseph Roth said. “We could have several hundred or several thousand people in line.”
The store is the first IKEA in the Carolinas. It opens Wednesday at 9 a.m.
IKEA’s ad says the first 100 kids in line will get a free toy. The first 100 adults will get an armchair valued at $199. The first 2,500 adults will receive a mystery gift and 10 people will win $1,000 gift cards.
[By Beth Shayne, Via WCNC.com]
Thanks to IKEA_Devotee for tweeting about it! Follow IKEA_Devotee for up to the minute reports on IKEA Charlotte Opening!
If you’re there and you’d like to guest blog about it to pass the time, contact us! We’d love some pictures, too!
If you’re on Facebook, check out the Queen City IKEA Facebook page, and then join them for coffee at 10:30 on Opening Day! That would be February 18th, at the new IKEA Charlotte! If you’re in the door, that is. o.O. Jealous.
So far, IKEA has stated that IKEA Tampa will be opening Summer 2009, but on the IKEA Group Corporate site, there’s a May 2009 Opening indicated. Could it be that IKEA will come early to Tampa?
Let’s hope so! By the way…we’re looking for local guest bloggers who would be interested in blogging about the upcoming opening of the IKEA Tampa location in Ybor City. Interested? Contact us!
Holy Akurum, Batman! That’s a lot of kitchens! According to the Triangle Business Journal,
Swedish home-furnishings giant Ikeais putting the final touches on its first North Carolina store, which is scheduled to open next month in Charlotte.
The 356,000-square-foot store will be one of the chain’s largest. It will feature three model homes and 49 room vignettes, including 17 kitchens. Shoppers will be able to buy more than 10,000 exclusively designed products — from furniture to art, tableware and even food.
I do wish IKEA would stop selling themselves as a full-service setup though:
Ikea now offers on-site designers to help shoppers create complete rooms, take measurements and recommend contractors to assemble the furniture. The store also can arrange home delivery.
Though IKEA has many supporting businesses that will help with design, ordering, delivery, assembly and installation, anyone who’s been there knows that IKEA itself is not about the service aspect. IKEA is all about the low prices. It’s about doing something for yourself. And that’s ok by me – that’s the deal I have with Ingvar.
If you’re not confident about doing it yourself, seek help – North Carolina is home to Eco-Modernism (See post: IKEA Runs: Need your IKEA Fix? Hire a local delivery service), a few new startups, and Custom Assembly and Install out of Atlanta is contracted with IKEA as a Certified Installer.
You can get in line for the IKEA Charlotte Grand Opening starting at 9am on Monday, February 16th, 2009 in advance of the Wednesday, February 18th Grand Opening Event. And while we’re on the subject, PositiveFanatics.com is seeking Guest Bloggers to document the experience of the Charlotte IKEA Grand Opening. Need your 15 minutes in the sun? Contact us!
[Via Triangle Business Journal]
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]
Richard Castanon - IKEA Charlotte Store Manager
IKEA Charlotte is opening in just over a month – February 18th is the magical date! Check out the IKEA Charlotte Readying to Open slideshow on CharlotteObserver.com.
Have you been able to get any photos of the new IKEA in Charlotte, NC? We’d love to get your pictures!
[Photo via CharlotteObserver.com]