New Ottawa Ikea Sneak Peek!

by DaniGirl on December 6, 2011 · 6 comments

in Consumer culture, Life in Ottawa, Reviews, promotions and giveaways

It was a dark and stormy night in Ottawa, but it was dry and bright with brilliant colours inside the new Ikea during the special media sneak peek last night! ZOMG, what an awesome, enormous store!!

It’s laid out on two levels – if you walk the maze through both levels, you’ve traversed an impressive 1.3 km! At the entrance, there’s a giant sort of foyer area with a huge kiddie play area along one wall and an escalator up to the showrooms. There are 55 inspirational room settings, and three full living areas (ie complete condo/apartment layouts with bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom), and 29 (!!) kitchens set up. Here’s @MrsLouLou and @missfish standing in my dream kitchen. *covet*

Ikea sneak peek (1 of 10)

(I figure it’s a year, maybe two, before we find ourselves sitting at one of the dozen or so lovely little consultation areas near the kitchen inspiration section. One of our cupboard doors fell off last week, and other is wobbly. And really? The faux painted brick backsplash from the 70s has got to go! Once the furnace replacement is paid off, the kitchen reno project is next on the list, and I am giddy to get started. I can’t imagine starting a kitchen reno anywhere BUT Ikea!)

Everything about this new Ikea is bigger, better and brighter than the old store. There are more parking spaces (1200, half of them covered), more shopping carts (600), more seats in the restaurant (640), more space (from 113K to 427K sq ft), and more stuff: from 4500 products to 9500 products. There were 12 beds laid out in the old Ikea; there are 31 in the new one! As the manager of the bedroom furniture area said, “That’s a lot of beds to make each morning!”

Ikea sneak peek (3 of 10)

The new store has a lot of stuff that the old store simply couldn’t make room for. They have a fabric section, for example. (The carpet section in the new store is the size of the entire textiles section in the old store.) The fabrics are laid out on the back wall here:

Ikea sneak peek (5 of 10)

The whole store is epic, rather jaw-dropping in its proportions. Store manager Isabelle Auclair explained that the new Ottawa Ikea is now more in line with some of the other stores, with the inspiration rooms laid out across the upper floor and the “Marketplace” with the smaller, non-flat-packed items spread out through the lower floor. I could have spend days (and dollars!) just wandering about the kitchen and bath sections. Oooo, pretty colours!!

346:365 Ikea sneak peek (6 of 10)

I think if you went through my house and rounded up all the empty picture frames, you’d find more than a dozen. Maybe even two dozen. I have this weird compulsion to buy them, and then I get all non-committal and have difficulty deciding what to put in them or where to hang them. Still, this frame section made me positively drool with covetousness.

Ikea sneak peek (8 of 10)

Did you hear they are expecting 13,500 visitors the first day? Not in the first week, or month. The first DAY alone. Yikes! So I’m guessing you’ll wont see the checkouts looking quite so empty for some months to come!

Ikea sneak peek (9 of 10)

But, there’s an impressive 36 cash lanes, and they’ve hired an extra 100 or so “co-workers”, adding about 50 per cent to their staff for the new store. Here’s another neat fact from the press kit: more than 45 per cent of the co-workers at the Ottawa store have been there more than 10 years. And you could really see the pride of the managers showing off their setions last night — it was a really neat insight into a company I’ve always been curious about.

There are a few more pictures on Flickr, and more information about the grand opening festivities on the Ottawa Indoor Beautification Facebook page. 🙂 I’m grateful to Ikea for the chance to have a sneak peek and Ikea is sponsoring the blog this month, but as always all opinions are entirely my own.

The night got a little hectic for me when I realized that my iPhone was not, in fact, in my coat pocket where I thought I left it. I had a few very unhappy minutes when we went out to the car and found it also not there, and I was sick with the idea that I’d lost it. We made one last quick stop at the Starbucks where Beloved and I had met before the preview — and someone had found it and turned it in to the baristas there.

So thank you, Ikea Ottawa, for the amazing preview to your new store. I will be spending many, many hours there in the months and years to come. And thank you, kind Starbucks patron, for finding and turning in my lost iPhone. Together, you made a dark and stormy night bright and warm.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jody December 6, 2011 at 8:40 am

So obviously this isn’t surprising, but several of those photos are giving me powerful flashbacks to the SIX trips we took to the Edinburgh IKEA in one two-week period in January of this year. And if the Ottawa store is anything like as spacious and varied as the Edinburgh store, you will enjoy it (and buy too much stuff).

Now I have a craving for meatballs….

2 Chantal December 6, 2011 at 9:01 am

Dani it was no nice to have a chance to talk to you and Beloved last night! I really enjoyed the tour as well, although we lost the manager early on and just wandered (not that I am complaining). It was all kinds of awesome. Can’t wait to be able to actually buy something!

3 DaniGirl December 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

Chantal, chatting with you and Karen and Annie was one of the highlights of my night — but how ironic to be in retail mecca and not able to BUY anything?!? 🙂 Gonna have to brave the crowds one of these day!

4 Sara December 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Oh. My. Gawd. SOOO nice. Looks very similar to Vaughn but I don’t care, it is our Ikea.

I am contemplating the idea of going tomorrow but I think I will wait…like planned.

5 Paula December 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm

1.3 kms is the distance round-trip from my house to my rural mailbox. There isn’t a big box store anywhere in the town I live just outside of. If there was, I’d want it to be an IKEA. I can spend hours in the kitchenware section alone. Now that the new IKEA in Ottawa has a fabric section too I think I shall be making a trip into the city soon…but not on opening day!

Great write up Dani.

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