For years I’ve been hearing how people love IKEA.
IKEA fans not only love the products, but love the experience of shopping in the store. They love it so much, many of the St. Louis IKEA fans would drive to Chicago to go shopping.
The owner of Circa Properties is one of those fans. Each time he opened a new office, he would make the 5 hour trip to Chicago to get everything he needed to furnish the office.
IKEA – St. Louis:
I was eager to check out IKEA when the store opened in St. Louis, but I waited a couple of months until the hype died down. I didn’t need anything in particular so I wasn’t about to stand in long lines just to do some window shopping.
When I did make it to the store, I finally understood what the fans were raving about. The experience of shopping in an IKEA store is a bit like visiting an Apple store. Everything has been engineered to make the experience enjoyable.
The moment you walk through the doors, you smell the cinnamon rolls that are available in the cafeteria during breakfast hours or at the take out food area by the checkouts. What a smart way to get shoppers into a good mood!
The store is split into 2 levels. As you walk into the door, you are immediately directed to take the escalators upstairs.
The store is setup like a maze with arrows directing you in the right direction. Smart move as it would be easy to get turned around without the arrows.
There are sections for every room of the house…kitchens, bedrooms, desks and even whole apartments.
Every size and color is on display so it is easy to see what your options will be.
One of the things that IKEA does really well is showing you multiple ways to use the same product. You’ll find the exact same shelves in the kitchens, laundry rooms and office designs. Rods that hold kitchen utensils via hooks also hold canisters for art supplies in kid’s rooms.
While most of the inventory is very modern, there are pieces that would fit into just about any decor.
IKEA is also very affordable. I just bought a desk at IKEA and it was less expensive as the ones I saw at Target. The desk and 2 drawer file cabinet above were just $79.99 each.
As you walk around the store and find items you want to purchase, jot down the item location information on the pamphlets located throughout the store.
When you are finished, you head back downstairs and can explore another section of the store where most of the smaller items are located. You can load these items into a shopping bag or cart. If you are purchasing larger items, these can be found in the warehouse area you walk through to get to the checkouts. Everything is well organized so you can find your items easily.
More IKEA Pictures:
The famous swedish meatballs with mac & cheese…just $4.99.
Takeout area just past the checkout registers. Cinnamon rolls in the morning, pizza later in the day.
IKEA even has appliances.
Design your kitchen at IKEA.
I’m buying this trash cabinet to go into my breakfast room nook. I’ll post the pictures when the project is finished.
7 Tips for 1st Time IKEA Shoppers:
- Bring your own bags – IKEA doesn’t supply any bags for small items, though you can purchase a large bag that will hold a ton for 99 cents.
- Assembly required – almost everything you buy at IKEA needs assembly. The instructions are pretty simple but they also offer assembly (and delivery) for an additional fee.
- Shopping alone – don’t worry about not being able to manage the furniture by yourself, there are helpers stationed in the warehouse section and by the parking lot.
- Wear comfortable shoes – the store is huge and it has concrete floors. Be prepared for a lot of walking.
- Read the signs – IKEA does a great job at helping you navigate the store if you just read the signs.
- Arrive early – the shopping area and kids zone (free babysitting) don’t open until 10 AM, but the cafeteria is open for breakfast at 9:30 AM. Coffee and tea is free if you arrive before 10 AM and there are breakfast options for $1-3.
- Dining with kids – the cafeteria has special carts that allow you to load up 3 trays on a single cart. I’ve never seen anything else like it but every food court should have them.