A ginormous Ikea with 1,700 parking spaces and 50 room settings filled with affordable furniture opened this morning in Burbank.
Measuring a cavernous 456,000 square feet, the new store is nearly twice the size of the old Burbank Ikea, which is now shuttered, and the biggest in the U.S. The new store was assembled on 22 acres, and it also features a 600-seat restaurant for all of LA’s meatball cravings.
A line formed before 6 a.m., because the first customers brave enough to face Ikea on opening day deserve treats. The first 26 customers were each gifted a free Landskrona sofa, which retails for $799. POÄNG armchairs were doled out to the next 100 shoppers. And, the first 2,500 visitors each got food gift cards.
If you’re making a mad dash to the new store, here’s the address: 600 IKEA Way in Burbank.
Curbed Associate Editor Bianca Barragan live blogged the chaos this morning:
8:18 a.m. You’re still drinking your first cup of coffee, but hundreds of folks are braving foggy conditions and sub 60-degree temperatures to be the first to experience the new Ikea. I spoke to a couple people in line who said they called in sick to be here this morning, hoping to get a free sofa. But despite lining up at 6 a.m., all they have to show for it so far is balloon art shaped like a stun gun.
8:40 a.m. A security team member says they aren't officially estimating the crowd size yet and won't know how many people are waiting until they all get inside.
8:50 a.m. Accusations of line-cutting and outrage over non-children getting free heart-shaped pillows are swirling in one section of the line, but for the most part, people seem relaxed and patient. Tad from Burbank agrees. But his situation is pretty cushy. He works across the street from the new store, so this morning, he parked at his job, then walked over here. He was line at 5:45 a.m.—and he won one of the free chairs.
9:20 a.m. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes says he is pumped about the new Ikea, especially because of its "greater freeway visibility" and massive parking lot. He said Ikea consistently ranks among Burbank's top tax generating businesses, and the new, bigger store means more tax revenue to pay for police, fire, and parks. Then, according to Swedish custom, he helped saw a log in half to officially open the store.
9:45 a.m. The first 2,500 people to burst through the doors of the store were greeted by Ikea workers handing out "mystery envelopes" with food gift cards. After waiting in line for hours, food definitely seems to be at the forefront of everyone's minds, and the first thing most people area doing is making a beeline for the new 600-seat restaurant. This is probably the most uncrowded the showroom areas of any Ikea anywhere have ever been.
10:25 a.m ↑ Here’s the menu; it’s pretty standard Ikea food at mind-boggling low prices ↑
10:35 a.m. Like the Ikeas before it, this new store is a labyrinth of $4 pillows and $99 chandeliers. But just because it’s bigger—and it does feel much bigger—doesn’t mean it’s more difficult to navigate. (Granted, that might be because people are still lining up for breakfast in the restaurant.) More demo rooms and added space mean that there are lots of place to sit down, even in the flatware and plates section. It's making live blogging very comfortable.