A supervised play area for kids makes IKEA shopping fun for all ages.Photo by Tyne Benesek
The time has finally come: IKEA will open its first St. Louis store Wednesday, Sept. 30. The 380,000-square-foot retail space, so big it earned its own street name (1 IKEA Way), sits at the intersection of I-64 and Vandeventer Avenue and carries a variety of items, from furniture to food and even fabric.
“It’s one of the larger IKEA stores,” said IKEA customer relations manager Cathy Gregorio.
IKEA has worked to make the sprawling store an easy and fun destination for families. In a supervised play area older children can play in a ball pit, work on arts and crafts or simply relax in a cozy movie space while their parents shop for an hour. Those who prefer to tag along while mom and dad shop will be entertained by play kiosks located throughout the store.
Don’t want to break for dinner? IKEA offers a quick-service food area on the ground floor and a full-service restaurant one floor up. While the restaurant features Swedish food like herring and tasty Swedish meatballs, there are kid-friendly options for the pickier eaters. The store also caters to even the tiniest shoppers, with complimentary strollers and lockers for diaper bags.
“We have microwaves for the mothers who come with children, to warm up milk bottles and baby food in our restaurant,” said store manager John Achillea.
As is customary with other IKEA stores, customers can browse a vast expanse of merchandise, make a shopping list and locate where to pick up the disassembled items. For those busy families without time to put together their purchases, IKEA will assemble the pieces. If the kids are getting restless, for $40, a store associate will even go “pick” the items you’ve chosen. Delivery is always available for $59. Assembly starts at $89.
IKEA grand opening events Customers can enjoy live music and visits by local sports mascots during the grand opening Sept. 30. The new location will also have several opening day giveaways, including a free heart-shaped soft toy for the first 100 children 17 and younger. On Thursday, Oct. 1 children 12 and younger eat for free and the first 100 children 17 and younger to visit on Friday, Oct. 2, will receive a voucher for a soft-serve frozen yogurt available that day at the Exit Bistro. Other grand opening fun will include face painting and balloon artists. IKEA will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily beginning Sept. 30.