The wait is over, Jacksonville – our new IKEA store is officially open as of 9am today! IKEA Jacksonville is the fifth store in Florida, 46th in the United States, and 410th in the world. I don’t know about you but I’m pumped about not having to drive to Orlando to get my home decor and Swedish meatball fix. (Fun fact: two million meatballs are eaten at IKEA stores daily!)
Last week I got the opportunity to attend the press preview of the new IKEA store here in Jacksonville where we got a taste of the menu offerings at the IKEA restaurant as well as a guided tour of the entire store. Getting a behind the scenes information gave me a better appreciation of IKEA’s business model and the efforts they take to minimize their environmental footprint.
You can’t shop on an empty stomach! The 275 seat restaurant opens 30 minutes before the store and serves $2.00 breakfast with menu items like eggs, turkey sausage, breakfast potatoes, Swedish pancakes, and strawberry jam. IKEA offers a daily $3 lunch and $4 dinner as well as a full menu with Swedish and traditional options. The restaurant features high chairs, organic baby food, bibs, a microwave for warming bottles, and a children’s menu with options like grilled chicken, Swedish meatballs, and organic pasta with sauce. And kids eat FREE on Tuesday with the purchase of an adult entree. Plus, the food is really, really good.
Once the family has fueled up at the restaurant, drop the kids off at Smaland (for potty trained children 37″-54″ tall) for an hour of supervised play. (Is baby too small to leave? IKEA also offers strollers and baby care rooms.) IKEA Family members can enjoy an extra 30 minutes of time in Smaland. (Sign up for IKEA Family in-store or online.)
Take your time strolling through the 290,000 square foot store with 50 room displays, three model homes, and 10,000 exclusively designed products. Stop by the front of the store for a pencil, shopping list, tape measurer, store map, and shopping cart to take the guesswork out of your shopping trip. IKEA encourages you to stretch out on a bed, see how many people can fit on a sofa, or let children choose furniture for their rooms. The store’s room settings are designed entirely with IKEA products to inspire customers with ideas for furnishing and decorating their homes.
IKEA is known for their fully customizable kitchens. Customers who want a new kitchen can choose between multiple services to achieve their vision. IKEA staff includes licensed kitchen planners and contractors that can visit customers’ homes and measure their spaces, help create a cabinet layout, and interior fittings, lighting, plumbing and electrical plan as well as demo, build and install the new kitchen.
The IKEA children’s section includes everything from pint sized furniture and decor to toys and art supplies for newborns to teens. With options that can grow with the child, you can purchase items and use them for years to come. Some of my favorite children’s items include Antilop high chair, Leka baby gym, Fabler stainless steel flatware set, Duktig play kitchen, and Raskog utility cart (which I use as a mobile nursing station in Emme’s nursery). Don’t forget your furry kids! IKEA also a full line of items for the four-legged members of your family.
All IKEA products have a price tag, but there is more to it than just the price. IKEA tags have important information about product type/function, product name, basic product details (size, color, measurements), features, customer benefits, designer and price. A key part of the price tag indicates where to pick-up the item. Red tags direct the customer to the Marketplace for smaller items and accessories, or to the Self-Serve Furniture Area for most furniture items (indicated by Aisle and Bin numbers). Yellow tags mean the product can be retrieved at the Furniture Pick- up area where coworkers help with heavier items such as sofas and appliances.
Continuing IKEA’s commitment to renewable energy, IKEA installed 5,472 solar panels atop IKEA Jacksonville. Other sustainable efforts on the store level include eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process and selling only LED bulbs. IKEA encourages customers to bring their own reusable shopping bags or purchase their iconic blue shopping bags at checkout which can be used for future trips.
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. IKEA has been included in rankings of “Best Companies to Work For” and strives to be an employer of choice . IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information on IKEA Jacksonville, visit ikea.com.