So after a long wait, Ikea’s 290,000-square-foot Jacksonville store finally opened its doors on November 8. I was one of the many Jax residents who wanted to visit the new store to buy some fancy-looking décor and furniture for my house, my priority being a shoe shelf.
For months earlier, there were rumors and then news about the new Ikea store being built at St. John’s Town Centre, a large shopping area in Jacksonville’s Southside.
Interestingly, the open date was announced with another important date – the date when people could start queuing up for the opening. So two days before the store opening, Ikea enthusiasts lined up – some equipped with tents, chairs, mattresses and food supply -outside the store. Why the frenzy, I wondered only to learn that the first few entrants were going to be welcomed with great fanfare and also receive a freebie.
On its website, IKEA made the announcement – the first 46 visitors would get an EKTORP sofa in celebration of the 46th US store opening while the next 100 visitors would receive a free POANG armchair.
I decided to avoid the crowds and go on a later date. Unbelievably, when I visited the store on November 11, the parking lots were full. I actually drove a mile away to a parking lot and took a shuttle to the store. Here are pictures of the massive number of visitors’ cars and some photos from first visit to the store.
Inside the store, there were 50 room displays that showcased Ikea furniture assembled in mock settings. I walked in and out of rooms.
I did not quite understand why there were stuffed rats and mice. And so many on display. When I googled them, I found their product pages on the website. One says Gosig Mus and the other says Gosig Ratta. Gosig means cuddly or huggable. I also found a very funny and relatable post by a ‘husband’ who visited IKEA with his wife. He too was wondering about the abundance of stuffed toy rats at Ikea. You totally must read the post titled My Wife and I visit IKEA again and I try to figure out why.
My purchases from my first Ikea visit were minimal cause I plan to go again when it is less crowded. I want to visit the famed restaurant inside for the Swedish meatballs and try the yogurt too.
Here’s what I bought:
1. White microwaveable plates and bowls
2. A countertop utensil holder for my spoons called ORDNING
3. A glass bottle with a cork called Korken.
4. Dark chocolate called Talanda – my best purchase!
Side observation: It’s really interesting how the Scandinavian product names are connected to English. For example, Korken – a bottle with a cork.
Here’s some more:
- Mus – Mouse
- Hanga – coat hanger
- Frostig – refrigerator
Found this Ikea dictionary. It’s a fascinating list of IKEA product names and their meanings. The website makes for a fun read.