Excitement grows among Filipino consumers whenever there is an update about Ikea. And with natural disaster and pandemic pushing back the opening from 2020 to 2021, anticipation has further swelled to the point that a single photo of the big blue building at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay can elicit gasps of delight.
That pent-up excitement ends today – at least for those who were able to book their slots to shop on Nov. 25 – as Ikea finally opens its first store in the Philippines, also the biggest in the world.
You have to book a slot
Shoppers are required to book a slot to shop at Ikea until further notice, to limit the people inside. Ikea adheres to Pasay LGU’s guidelines for allowed capacity of business establishments, which, according to the Ikea team that led the media group Manila Standard joined during the Nov. 19 preview, they further lowered to account for the over 500 in-store employees.
Shopping schedule begins at 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. While each slot runs for only 30 minutes each, shoppers, once inside, can take their sweet time (you’ll be needing it, anyway) because there’s no time limit. You can bring up to two people when you book at ikea.ph.
The world’s largest Ikea goes up to five stories, covering an area of 68,000 square meters (equivalent to 150 basketball courts). Do note that the whole blue building along Marina Way does not only house Ikea, there are also a few stores and restaurants inside.
But the shopping floors can still be overwhelming, at 15,000 square meters that span across the showroom, the market hall, and the café and restaurant where you can enjoy the Swedish store’s famous meatballs served with lingonberry jam. Speaking of meatballs, they (along with other food items) are also sold per pack at the food market for P199-P279 a bag.
Two of the five floors of the building serve as the warehouse where they keep their stock of the over 8,000 articles available in the store.
Follow the arrow, bring your camera phone
It’s best to do your window shopping online so you know what you want to get in the store. Look for the arrows on the floor or ask the Ikea staff to help you find your way around.
The showroom offers inspiration for different rooms suitable for different people – from a single woman to a small family with two kids – showing how the Ikea products would look like in each space. If you like something from the showroom, take a photo of the product tag (take note of the row number) so you can find it later at the Self-Serve Area.
The Self-Serve Area houses rows and rows of items which customers can get on their own. You may pay and take home the item on the same day or have it delivered.
Get more bang for your buck
Ikea offers a range of quality, aesthetically pleasing products at low prices. You can get a coffee table at P490 or a coffee mug at P50. There’s a tray table priced at P890 and nesting tables at P3,290. TV units range from P990 to P6,990. You can also get a simple desk at P1,990, or, if you have more cash to spend, a standing desk at about P30,000.
But if you want to save more, take note of the walls painted red because it means the products featured on the wall are discounted. Green means the featured product was made sustainably.
There is also an area where you can find items below P100. And if you can live with a few stains or scratches on your furniture, head to the Circular Life that houses discounted products with slight defects, those returned by customers (Ikea has a 365-day return policy), and those that were previously displayed at the showroom.
If you need a curtain or a towel you bought from Ikea adjusted or customized, you can bring it to the dedicated space for Rags2Riches artisans who will do the adjustments for you.