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)


How long does it take to walk through IKEA? ›

Here are a few tips to make it easier and take note: While store manager Trisha Bevering says the average consumer spends 2½ to 3 hours in an Ikea trip, you'll spend more time there if you haven't been to an Ikea before or even as you come to know the store. Pretend you're packing for a trip: Go light.

Is IKEA in Oxford Street open? ›

The retailer remains fully committed to opening as the renovation at 214 Oxford Street continues. IKEA UK has confirmed its Oxford Street city store will now be opening in spring 2025, as an extensive renovation project across all seven floors of the iconic Grade II listed building continues.

What are as-is products at IKEA? ›

IKEA wants to make sustainable living easy and affordable for everyone. What is As-is? The As-is department features everything from discontinued items, gently used and even our ex-showroom displays. Although all items may be slightly used, they have been thoroughly inspected to ensure functionality and safety.

Does IKEA close on holidays? ›

All IKEA stores, locations, warehouses, deliveries and customer services are closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

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.

Where are the new IKEA locations in 2024? ›

The new Ikea stores will be located in Austin, Texas (scheduled for summer 2024), the Atlanta metro area, and two locations in greater Los Angeles. Looking past 2024, Ikea is planning to open stores in Annapolis and Gaithersburg, Md.; Katy, Texas; and other locations to be named later.

How much did IKEA pay for Oxford Street? ›

The owner of Ikea has bought Topshop's former flagship store on Oxford Street, once the jewel in Sir Philip Green's retail empire, for an estimated £378m, creating a new central London home for the Swedish furniture brand.

Why did IKEA Queens close? ›

IKEA's 112K SF store at Rego Park, which opened in 2021 as IKEA's first smaller-format store in the U.S, was closed in December 2022 when the Swedish furniture giant pivoted to a different growth strategy.

What is IKEA's most popular product? ›

1. Billy bookcase. The Billy bookcase has cemented itself firmly as one of the most popular products in the IKEA family. It is estimated that every five seconds, one Billy bookcase is sold somewhere in the world.

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.

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.

Which IKEA store is shutting down? ›

Furniture retailer Ikea India on Thursday said it will shut down its store in Mumbai's R City Mall by the middle of this year and explore omnichannel formats in the city. The store at R City Mall, which is spread across 72,000 sq ft, opened in June 2022 to test the viability of small-format stores.

Are dogs allowed in IKEA California? ›

We love pets, but we don't allow them in our stores. We do welcome fully trained, ADA-qualified service animals to shop with you. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

How to get through IKEA quickly? ›

If you've prepared your shopping list before you get to the store, try to skip the showroom floors completely. Most larger items can be found in the self serve warehouse on the first floor. Locate a computer or ask an associate for the location of an item if it's not on your shopping list.

How many steps walking through IKEA? ›

With indoor walking, you get the benefits of exercise in the comfort of your local IKEA. Did you know that if you walk from our store's entrance to the exit along the natural path it's around 1500 steps? On a treadmill you have just one view.

How long should I plan to spend at IKEA? ›

Plus they serve breakfast and lunch there so you really could spend all day there. 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.

Why does IKEA make you walk through the whole store? ›

In addition to the smart neuro design, Ikea's layout nudges customers to spend more money. Ikea sets up the store along a directed walking path that takes customers in one direction through nearly its entire inventory (provided you don't take short-cuts, which are also available in some places.

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