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]
VISITORS to IKEA’s Edinburgh store in August will be
able to sample the delights of crayfish in a variety of recipes and
styles as well as sampling locally-produced beer.
Crayfish will come under the spotlight at the
Straiton store with shoppers invited to taste Swedish-style party food,
prepared by IKEA’s food services team. Locally-produced food and drink,
including a range of premium beeers brewed by Loanhead-based Stewart
Brewing on the store’s doorstep, will also be showcased at the home
furnishings store over the weekends of 4-5 and 12-13 August.
The store is also planning to throw a crayfish party
for its workforce. IKEA’s Edinburgh food services manager, Rachel
McLean, said: “Crayfish is a hugely popular Swedish food, especially
during the main fishing season which falls in August.
“Swedes celebrate the arrival of the crayfish with
parties and they decorate their tables. It’s a hugely versatile seafood
and can be used in many ways. We decided to put crayfish in the
limelight and share its delights with customers and co-workers alike.”
FOR shoppers who flock to the blue and yellow stores, the slick modern
designs inside are the attraction. But David Lammy, the culture minister, is to
accuse chains such as Ikea, the Swedish home furnishings giant, of “dumping”
faceless and ugly buildings on Britain’s towns.
His comments, to be made at the Royal Institute of British Architects this
week, will contrast how chains are “spending a fortune” marketing cheap
furnishings while “appearing to give no thought” to what the shops look like
The minister will compare stores such as Ikea, Tesco and B&Q to “enormous
versions of the Tetra Paks they sell inside”.
“Good design and high-quality built environments are fundamental to a decent
quality of life,” he will say. “Too many supermarkets and DIY stores look like
huge faceless boxes. These companies need to recognise they have a huge impact
on the look and feel of communities.”
“Britain’s Architecture-Police Stakeout IKEA”
By sabel Oakeshot
The London Times
Pure Contemporary LINK
[via Apartment Therapy]
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