Today was a big day in Burbank, California. The largest IKEA in North America opened up right here in our small town…which actually isn’t so small anymore. With this new Grand Opening, IKEA gave away thousands of dollars in furniture and gift cards to the first people in line. Customers came from all over the southland to wait in line for a full 16 hours, sleeping in chairs in the rain, just to get the chance to get a new, free sofa.
Prior to the opening of the store, customers were serenaded with our National Anthem, the Swedish Anthem and ‘God Bless America’, while the American, Swedish and California State Flag were raised.
Next, was the Log Cutting!
“Log sawing is a Swedish tradition that symbolizes a new beginning. IKEA opens all of its U.S. stores by halving a log with a cross-cut saw to show shoppers that IKEA has roots clear and distinct from other retailers.”
Say what?! Yes. You can push those carts and flat beds to the lot, where there are cart corrals. No more carrying 3 things in one hand while balancing a long box on your head, holding it in your other hand and then thinking about how you’re going to get your keys out of your pocket the entire walk back to your car.
The menu choices for kids include a child’s portion of Swedish meatballs, chicken fingers or macaroni and cheese, while baby food and bibs are available for even younger visitors.
The Swedish Food Market offers Swedish delicacies, snacks and treats, and frozen Swedish meatballs (the same ones available in the Restaurant) to purchase and then prepare at home.
And…the Exit Bistro serves hot dogs, pizza, cinnamon buns, frozen yogurt, sundaes and beverages.
We hit IKEA for cheap ice cream frequently!
5. This space is 458,000 square feet
Why is this something I think you’ll like? Well, because, with all that space, I think this will be manageable….the crowds, I mean. I truly is a beautiful store and with a more roomy feel, it will make the shopping experience there more enjoyable.
6. This IKEA added 150 jobs to our community
People who work at IKEA, love working for IKEA. I talked to an original employee today, named Joe. Joe has worked in the Burbank IKEA for 26 years, since it first opened here. He said he loves his job and that IKEA is an exceptional employer with great benefits. Adding 150 more jobs for people in Burbank and outside, is a good thing for the families here. IKEA employs a total of 575 locals. IKEA has been included in rankings of “Best Companies to Work For” and, as further investment in its coworkers, has raised its own minimum wage twice in two years.
7. Happy employees!
See number 6. The benefit of taking care of your employees, means they like their job. And if they like their job, they’ll do their job well. And if they do their job well….we, as customers benefit.
8. Free Coffee.
Oh, I love coffee. When you sign up for the IKEA Family Card, you get many perks, including and extra 30 minutes in Smaland and free coffee or tea in the restaurant. Now, could you do this in the old one? Yes…but the NEW IKEA has lattes. No flavors available…but lattes.
Coffee. That’s really all I can say about that.
9. Taking the kids shopping with ease.
I’ll admit, my kids love going to IKEA to just look at furniture and day dream about what’s “their bedroom” or “their kitchen.” And as my kids get older, it’s easier to take them shopping, but there are other options for the wee ones.
Småland is a supervised children’s play area (for children 37”-54” in height) that replicates the look of a typical Swedish farmhouse and forest;
There are additional play areas throughout the store, offering activities for kids shopping with parents;
There is A “Children’s IKEA” area in the Showroom that also offers fun, interactive play; and
There are also amenities such as family-friendly parking, strollers and baby care rooms.
10. A faster checkout.
This is fantastic. I mean, obviously, with a much larger store, and larger crowds, there is a need for more checkout lanes. That’s why IKEA now has 30 check out lanes available! Don’t forget to bring your bags, or you will be buying one or shoving things in pockets and purses to carry them out.
IKEA’s commitment to the Burbank community. Many events around our town have been sponsored by IKEA (I’m working on you IKEA, for The Rose Run…just saying’) But, today…they donated $10,000 in goods to the Family Service Agency of Burbank. This is a great donation for our city.
IKEA Burbank is now open. It is located at
600 IKEA Way
Burbank, CA 91502
Restaurant opens at 9:30am
Monday – Friday: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11:00am – 7:00pm