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My Visits To IKEA St. Louis

September 29, 2015 Big Box, Featured, Retail 2 Comments

The new IKEA St. Louis opens tomorrow, the 8th IKEA I’ve visited. I first stepped into an IKEA store over 25 years ago. So long, in fact, that location (Woodbridge) has been physically replaced by a new building.   I’ve filled several cars before, I’ve also bought a few small items to fit in carry-on luggage.  I’ll have to adjust to having a location just 20 minutes away by public transit. So I have some personal advice based on my experiences.

The Post-Dispatch ran a story on how to survive IKEA, it was a good list but I disagree with one:

7. Don’t go hungry expecting you will eat something right away. You will walk through an entire floor of the showroom before you encounter the cafeteria. Then, there will be lines. You don’t want to have low-blood sugar in an Ikea.

This is incorrect. At IKEA you start at the top level and work your way down, at their locations you can easily access the restaurant upon reaching the top floor. This is especially true in St. Louis.  The restaurant opens 30 minutes before the main store does so you can grab a bite to eat, review your list, and such.

Initially, expect lines.  Most of the following pics are from the press/media tour last Wednesday — a few are from the family & friends day on Saturday.

Upon entering from the surface parking or parking love; below the store you'll see stairs, escalator, and elevator on the East end. All these lead you up to the 2nd floor.
Upon entering from the surface parking or parking love; below the store you’ll see stairs, escalator, and elevator on the East end. All these lead you up to the 2nd floor.
At the 2nd floor you'll go through the automatic glass doors and reach this point. Here you can leave the young ones in the nursery area or use the restroom. If you know you want to reach something on this floor, say lighting, you can skip the 3rd floor. However, newbies should start on the 3rd floor and follow the arrows.
At the 2nd floor you’ll go through the automatic glass doors and reach this point. Here you can leave the young ones in the nursery area or use the restroom. If you know you want to reach something on this floor, say lighting, you can skip the 3rd floor. However, newbies should start on the 3rd floor and follow the arrows.
To the right of the 2nd floor restrooms are lockers if you need to store stuff while you shop. I didn't see any keys last week, not sure exactly how these are accessed. The elevator is to the left of the restrooms.
To the right of the 2nd floor restrooms are lockers if you need to store stuff while you shop. I didn’t see any keys last week, not sure exactly how these are accessed. The elevator is to the left of the restrooms.
Of the IKEA locations I've visited this restaurant is the open and inviting. This is looking East.
Of the IKEA locations I’ve visited this restaurant is the open and inviting. This is looking East.
It is cafeteria-styke, but there is more than one line. Looks for daily specials to save money.
It is cafeteria-styke, but there is more than one line. Looks for daily specials to save money.  They have rolling carts that hold 4-5 trays so you don’t have to male your kids carry their own tray and worry they’ll spill it.
Long lines on Saturday though
Long lines on Saturday though
The 3rd floor has areas like sofas, bed, tables, office, etc.
The 3rd floor has areas like sofas, bed, tables, office, etc.
The 3rd floor also has complete rooms like living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens
The 3rd floor also has complete rooms like living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens
There are three small apartments on the 3rd floor so you can see complete living spaces.
There are three small apartments on the 3rd floor so you can see complete living spaces.
Back down on the 2nd floor is where you'll find lots of smaller products. This $4,79 storage set is one of my favorites -- we bought a 3rd set on Saturday.
Back down on the 2nd floor is where you’ll find lots of smaller products. This $4,79 food storage set is one of my favorites — we bought a 3rd set on Saturday.
The lighting section has always been a favorite, like the entire store, this is all LEDs.
The lighting section has always been a favorite, like the entire store, this is all LEDs.
The art & accessories area has pieces of various sizes that won't break the bank.
The art & accessories area has pieces of various sizes that won’t break the bank.
Then you'll find items you saw on display on the 3rd floor available in the warehouse. Display items have the aisle & section number on the price tag so you can locate them here.
Then you’ll find items you saw on display on the 3rd floor available in the warehouse. Display items have the aisle & section number on the price tag so you can locate them here.
On Saturday
On Saturday
Check out lines are ready.
Check out lines are ready.
On Saturday every line was going, cashiers getting lots of experience. Starting October 1st they'll be ready for EMV/Chip credit cards. No NFC payment though.
On Saturday every line was going, cashiers getting lots of experience. Starting October 1st they’ll be ready for EMV/Chip credit cards. No NFC payment though.
At the exit you can use the elevator, stairs, or travelator to get to the ground for. The travelator holds carts so they don't roll down. Be prepared to push the cart at the bottom.
At the exit you can use the elevator, stairs, or travelator to get to the ground for. The travelator holds carts so they don’t roll down. Be prepared to push the cart at the bottom.

I’m glad we now have an IKEA, now trips to Chicago can avoid suburbia.  Here’s a scene from an early episode of CBS’ ‘Big Bang Theory’ about assembling flat packed furniture.

I’ll be there tomorrow morning as official raise flags in front go the entrance around 8:30am. I’ll visit with a good friend who is 7th in line.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. calwatch says:

    Yeah, this is stupid. All IKEAs have shortcuts. Pick up the map, look at the signs, and use the shortcut to get the product that you want. If you don’t want to wander around you can be in and out as quickly as any Walmart Supercenter or Super Target, maybe even more so because sections are clearly labeled on a map rather than randomly strewn around a store.

     
  2. RyleyinSTL says:

    This IKEA, save the covered parking (and perhaps the full LED lighting), seems pretty typical of what they have been building the last 15 years. As calwatch says, there is nothing forcing anyone to visit the store in the order it is presented to you.

     

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