Countdown to Ikea Opening: Here's What You Need to Know (2024)

An Ikea of our very own. Ja, it’s enough to make fans of the Scandinavian megastorestart speaking Swedish.

For nine months now, San Antonio has watched and waited as Ikea, the famous furniture retailer founded in Sweden, broke ground and constructed its 49th U.S. store in its very own backyard. The good news is the store is opening its doors far ahead of the anticipated summertime opening.

Ikea Live Oak will be the company’s fifth location in Texas. Until now, the nearest Ikea to San Antonio was the store in Round Rock, north of Austin and easily a two-hour drive in traffic. That journey is no more for those who want to take in the smorgasbord of home decor offerings and Swedish meatballs Ikea is known for.

With the opening date officially set for Feb. 13, store workers have already begun assembling furniture, setting up displays, and training “co-workers,” as employees are known at Ikea.

Thus, it’s time to get out those tape measures and Allen wrenches, fold down the rear seats in the hatchback, and plan a day of touring and shopping for affordable, ready-to-assemble furniture for every room in your home.

Here’s what you need to know before you go.

“God Morgon!”

The store is located at the southwest corner of Interstate 35 and Loop 1604, approximately 15 miles northeast of downtown San Antonio. Just look for the giant building in “Ikea blue.”

On opening day, customers can begin queuing up at the store at 5 a.m. – no earlier. The line will wrap around the north side of the building. Store manager Diedre Goodchild, a 23-year Ikea employee who moved here from Washington to open the store, said Ikea co-workers will admit customers in an orderly fashion.

Through opening weekend, Ikea Live Oak will have activities, entertainment, and giveaways, to include toys, grab bags, and gift cards.

There’s an app with a map

While you wait, download the Ikea app and sign up for the store’s loyalty program, Ikea Family. Goodchild said that is the key not only to navigating the maze that is Ikea and finding shortcuts to an exit, but also previewing the goods online before you go.

The app alerts you to discounts and prize drawings, plus it’s how you’ll earn a free cup of coffee and extra time at Småland, the activity center for kids.

As you browse the store, you can use the app to keep track of the things you want to purchase and then show it at checkout for faster service. Or use paper and pencil, your choice.

Where to park

Though there are enough parking spaces on Ikea’s 31-acre property for 1,000 pickup trucks, minivans, and whatever you decide to drive to haul your purchases home, the lot may fill up during the first days the store is open. Auxiliary parking and shuttles will be provided for the overflow.

Pro tip: If you do plan to pick up new furnishings, measure your cargo space beforehand.

Some things in Ikea life are free

Here’s what won’t cost you a single krona: pencils, paper, tape measures, store guides, catalogs, shopping carts, shopping bags, and strollers.

Even the supervised children’s play area, Småland, named for the Ikea founder’s hometown in southern Sweden, is free for an hour. To enter, kids must be between 37 and 54 inches in height and potty-trained. Note that Småland will be in high demand on weekends, holidays, and school holidays, so you may have to wait to get in.

Shopping in 101 words

There are three main areas to the store – the showroom, the market hall, and a self-service furniture area. The showroom features 40 room sets designed to show you what it would feel like to live in an Ikea-furnished space. You can sit, lie down, fold out the sofa bed, turn on lamps, open the cabinets – the rule here is to make yourself at home.

The market hall carries many different items, from rugs and linens to kitchen utensils and wall decor. The self-service furniture area is where you can grab the flat-packed items you want to purchase and assemble at home.

PS. There’s also an as-is section, Ikea’s version of the scratch-and-dent sale with markdowns varying depending on the defect, most of which are minor.

Come for the furniture, stay for the food

“People do come just for the food,” Goodchild said. “Everybody is in the market for food.” In addition to the Swedish meatballs, Ikea has recently added salmon balls and a veggie dog. The menu also includes kids meals, organic and vegetarian options, healthy choices, and other Swedish classics.

For $2, you can get a Swedish breakfast of eggs, potatoes, pancakes, and sausage or bacon. The American breakfast is just $1.

The restaurant at the Live Oak store seats 359 and features wall-to-wall windows overlooking a hill planted with wildflower seed. (Did you know the word “window” comes from the Old Norse language for wind-eye?)

If you can’t stay to dine, there’s a food market of takeaway items and a bistro-style snack bar you can hit on the way out the door.

So you ride a bike?

An Ikea store features 10,000 exclusive items. Fear not – delivery options in the San Antonio area start at $59.

It’s not all DIY.

Other services the store offers for a fee include furniture assembly and kitchen design planning.

Countdown to Ikea Opening: Here's What You Need to Know (2024)


What does IKEA stand for? ›

Did you know? IKEA is named after the initials of founder Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, the farm on which he grew up, and Agunnaryd, the nearby village.

How many days does IKEA give you to pick up? ›

Collect your furniture/large order at a location near you. You choose the location and date. We will send you a notification when your order is ready for pick-up. We'll hold your order for up to 5 days.

How long do you need to go through IKEA? ›

Set aside at least 3 hours or more. Honestly I would say set aside the entire day because once you leave you will most likely be tired and not want to go anywhere. If you are anything like me you will excited to go straight home and put everything together.

How long does it take IKEA to restock an item? ›

They only restock larger items once a week, leaving you out of luck if you can't find what you're looking for before then. If you're trying to find the perfect IKEA product but find yourself getting frustrated with out-of-stock items with no restocks in sight, restock alerts might be your best bet.

What is a code 99 IKEA? ›

If a lost kid is wandering the store (which happens a lot), Jana says managers use “Code 99” to put all employees on alert.

What was Ikeas original name? ›

History. In 1943, then-17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA as a mail-order sales business, and began to sell furniture five years later. The first store was opened in Älmhult, Småland, in 1958, under the name Möbel-IKÉA (Möbel means "furniture" in Swedish).

What happens if you miss an IKEA pickup window? ›

Your order will be canceled and refunded if the pickup time window is missed.

Does IKEA load your car? ›

At IKEA — we're happy to help load your purchase into your vehicle. We also offer twine in our loading docks for securing purchases, if needed.

How to get through IKEA quickly? ›

4 Tips for Getting In & Out of IKEA Faster
  1. Pre-plan your trip. While you can't purchase many items on the IKEA website, you can use it to plan your shopping trip before you even leave the house. ...
  2. Go in through the out door. The store planners at IKEA are certainly clever folks. ...
  3. Skip the showroom. ...
  4. Use the inner ring.
Feb 24, 2019

What is the slowest day at IKEA? ›

Another strategy is going mid-week, especially in the evening hours, when you can enjoy a meal (Swedish meatballs and a soft-serve ice cream cone!) and stroll without all crazy crowds you'll encounter on the weekend. Employees note that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are ideal.

What is the least crowded day at IKEA? ›

If you're determined to make this a quick trip and want to avoid the worst of the crowds, Yap says Mondays are usually the quietest day. Or time your visit to arrive right before closing time. “Usually the crowd would have dispersed and no queues,” she said.

Can I bring my own bag to IKEA? ›

IKEA doesn't offer disposable plastic bags during the checkout process, so bring some reusable bags from home or purchase a durable, multi-purpose IKEA blue reusable shopping bag. 5. Know what IKEA provides. IKEA makes available all sorts of amenities to enhance your shopping experience.

Who owns IKEA? ›

Inter IKEA Holding B.V. (also known as Inter IKEA Group) is a holding company registered in the Netherlands, ultimately owned by Interogo Foundation. It owns the company Inter IKEA Systems and thereby controls the intellectual property of IKEA. It is also in charge of design, manufacturing and supply of IKEA products.

What is IKEA's last chance to buy? ›

When a product is marked with the label "Last chance to buy", it means that we want to let you know that this product will be discontinued after it is out of stock. Sometimes products are removed from our range to make room for new, exciting products.

Does IKEA do free shipping? ›

Ease and convenience! Get free shipping on small orders over $50. IKEA delivery buys you time and energy to do what you want — like set-up your new purchase or relax and enjoy your new space without having to bring it home yourself.

What is the meaning behind IKEA names? ›

Armchairs, sofas, tables and chairs are named after Swedish towns and cities. Book shelves are named after professions or boy names. Lamps and lighting are named after days, months and Swedish towns and cities. Children's products are named after animals, insects or just describing words.

What does the IKEA logo mean? ›

I stands for Ingvar, the first name of the IKEA founder. K is for Kamprad, his last name. E is for Elmtaryd, the name of the farm where Ingvar grew up, and A is for Agunnaryd, the name of the parish in Småland, Ingvar's home village. Elmtaryd farm is where Ingvar Kamprad grew up and started the IKEA business.

Is IKEA a Swedish word? ›

The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, lends his initials to the first two letters, while the "E" comes from the farm he grew up on, Elmtaryd, and the "A" from the Swedish village, Agunnaryd, where the farm was located. Pretty standard to name your company after yourself and the place you grew up.

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