Columbus says “Valkommen” to Ikea

Emma Frankart Henterly
The new Columbus Ikea store, one week before its grand opening

For many, the long-awaited moment is finally here: Ikea, the Swedish store known for assemble-it-yourself furniture and bite-sized meatballs, opens on Wednesday.

At 354,000 square feet, the Columbus store—the 44th to open in the U.S. and 397th worldwide—is larger than many of the nearby locations. (The stores in Detroit and West Chester, near Dayton, are just over 300,000 square feet, and Pittsburgh’s is a measly 196,000.) Those who have visited the West Chester store since it opened in 2008 won’t see much visual difference in our Ikea’s design; the iconic showroom and restaurant upstairs and marketplace, Småland kids’ play area and pick-your-product warehouse downstairs are all are standard for the brand.

Also standard for the Ikea brand is a commitment to sustainable practices. Columbus’ store features all-LED lighting and is among the 90 percent of Ikea stores in the U.S. that has rooftop solar panels. The solar array is one of the largest in Ohio, according to a company release.

Wednesday’s grand opening will feature its own exciting array, including live entertainment and a smörgåsbord of giveaways. Customers who simply can’t wait are allowed to line up—and camp out—in front of the doors beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 5. As of Monday afternoon, more than a dozen excited customers were already camped. The official opening, 48 hours later, will feature Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Columbus City Council President Pro Tem Priscilla Tyson, deputy chief of mission for the Swedish Embassy Göran Lithell, Ikea U.S. president Lars Petersson and Ikea Columbus store manager David Garcia.

Daily giveaways on June 7, June 8 and June 9 will feature the following:

  • On June 7, the first 44 adults in the store (to honor the 44th store opening) will receive a free Ektorp three-seat sofa; the next 100 adults will get a Poäng armchair and the first 100 children (17 and under) get a Famnig heart plush toy.
  • Also on June 7, the first 2,500 adults in the doors will receive an envelope containing Ikea gift cards worth $10 to $250, or a buy-one-get-one-free voucher for certain restaurant items.
  • The first 100 adults who can provide proof that they share a June 7 birthday with the new store will receive a $44 gift card.
  • On June 8, the first 44 adults in the store will get a queen-sized Haugesund mattress; the following 100 adults receive an Alina sleep set (bedspread, cushion covers and two Fjadrar pillows), and the first 100 children (17 and under) will receive a Gosig dog plush toy. (Visitors may begin lining up at 10 p.m. on June 7.)
  • On June 9, the first 44 adults in the store will get a 365+ six-piece cookware set and a Fortrolig food storage set. The next 44 adults will each receive a freezer bag with take-home meals from the store’s Swedish food market, and the first 100 children (17 and under) get a voucher for a free frozen yogurt at the Exit Bistro. (Visitors may begin lining up at 10 p.m. on June 8.)
  • From June 7 through 11, all visitors can enter to win one of 10 $1,000 Ikea gift cards; the store will match that prize with a $10,000 donation of home furnishings to the Homeless Families Foundation. “Ikea takes great pride in these community partnerships,” loyalty manager Derrek Shively said at a pre-opening press event.