July 22, 2009 by Evin
On Monday, 27 July, IKEA will open its first store in the Republic of Ireland. The new retail outlet is in Dublin. This is very exciting for many ROI residents who have been making the pilgrimage to Belfast to stock up on IKEA’s affordable merchandise. Now, it’s just that much closer so not only can we save on the items, but also on petrol! Items should be price matched to the Belfast store though with a weaker Sterling Dublin prices would have the advantage.
If you are familiar with IKEA’s philosophy and pricing beliefs, you won’t be surprised to know that it is the world’s largest furniture retailer. Since the 1950s, IKEA has opened 300 stores in 36 countries. To gear up for the new store, IKEA has an ad campaign in place, using billboards and cinema trailers promote IKEA’s support of rebel ideals. An example of a video commercial that is airing in area cinemas can be found on YouTube (posted by IkeaDublin).
Visiting IKEA’s website is satisfying when you visit their site to plan for your Dublin shopping trip (click for IKEA location details) and see they even have bus information (there’s an Urbus that goes from the airport just in case you need to fill up your luggage). For those visiting the Dublin (ok, it’s really Ballymun) location, be aware that there are over 1,800 parking spaces. I heard someplace that payment of €3 is required for use during peak evening rush-hour times, 16:00-20:00. This is possibly to discourage people hitting the roads to go shopping after work. Though no mention of it is on the website and I’ve been there on a Sunday and on a Friday with no sign of it so perhaps it’s just a rumor.
For an IKEA shopping excursion, you may wish to wear comfortable shoes and layered clothing, drop your children off in the FREE play area known as Småland, and perhaps carry a small bottle of water. There are many websites and blogs devoted to IKEA, including I Love IKEA, which offers practical shopping tips and information for first-time IKEA buyers.
Dublin still too far or your car too small for what you need? Check out HappyFlatpacks.com, a local IKEA-focused business that is a bit like a personal shopper who shops, buys, delivers, and can even assemble for you.
Now, opening day details! Though the store officially opens its doors for the first time at 11:00 a.m. on the 27th, they are supposedly kicking off the grand opening as early as 8:00 a.m. with festivities (click for IKEA Dublin Opening Date press release). If you plan to visit the store on its first day, expect big crowds as with any long-awaited store opening. Let’s hope they’ve learned their lesson after messy events marking the opening their Jeddah store (KSA) in September 2004 and Edmonton store (UK) in February 2005. It is speculated (Irish Times) that at least 1,000 shoppers will visit the newest IKEA store every hour during its first day open. I see big store openings as a cross between America’s Black Friday ‘tradition’ and Spain’s running with the bulls.
• The store name, IKEA, is made up of the first letters of four names related to the company’s founder: his first name and surname (I.K. for Ingvar Kamprad), the farm where he grew up (E. for Elmtaryd), and the Swedish village near said farm (A. for Agunnaryd).
• Only three counties have 25 or more IKEA retail stores: Germany, United States, and France boast 45, 37, and 26 stores respectively.
• Around 10,000 home furnishing products make up the IKEA line.
• The first step in designing a new item is determining its final price.
• IKEA advertises its business idea as: “We shall offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”