Tips for Your First In-store IKEA Shopping Trip
In less than 24 hours Ikea Halifax will be opening their doors for the public and the excitement amongst the Atlantic provinces is almost palpable. I had the pleasure of attending a media preview event for the new store last night and I thought I was prepared and ready to tick everything off of my list but it didn't quite happen this time... probably because I was distracted by chatting to friends and enjoying the fabulous event that they had put on!
Here's a few tips I learned tonight that will hopefully help you have a smooth and efficient shopping experience.
1. Download the Ikea App and start adding products that you are interested in to your wish list. This is a great tool because you are able to choose your store location and it will tell precisely the stock level and location of the item in the store. The items will be saved to your list and will all have individual article numbers associated with them. These article numbers are key for you to have handy should a question arise and you need help from any of the store associates.
2. Measure, measure, measure! Measure what you ask? Well everything! You will want to measure the space that you plan on placing your new item to make sure it fits. You will then want to scroll down to the package dimensions section of the said item's listing and make sure your vehicle will be able to fit it.
This is where I flubbed up tonight! I didn't realize that there would be no home delivery option since it was a media preview so I didn't really plan on having a truck or van to pack our purchases in. The main item we wanted to get was much too long and heavy for us to transport home so I had to leave it behind... for now! Insert crying emoji here!
3. Locate a store map and grab a pencil as soon as you walk into the store. This will give some bearings so you know what order to scope out your items. The pencil is helpful for you to jot down the article number of any pieces that you happen to see that weren't on your wish list. Let's face it, you will see so many things in person that you didn't even consider buying online because their staging is that good! Note that the tags on the items will let you know if it's a self serve shopping item (you pull it off the shelf and go to the check out) or you will have to get an order sheet with a barcode and pay first and have an associate pull the item from the back for you at furniture pick up.
4. Fuel up at the IKEA Cafe! Before shopping I would highly suggest stopping into the IKEA cafe and having a bite to eat to strategize and energize for your shopping day. I would highly recommend their Swedish meatballs... I can't go to IKEA without having some... literally!
5. Get a feel for the layout!
The top floor is mainly staged rooms and showrooms so you can see, touch, feel and compare items. Everything will be tagged so you can reference that item's specific article number... which you will want to do. I suggest having your phone charged and your IKEA app open so you can just punch in the article number for new items and adding it to your list. Your list will display the image of the items so it will be easy to scroll through and look for specific items. The top floor is also where you will spend a lot of time if you plan on designing a Pax wardrobe or customize a kitchen. You will see designated areas with computers and staff to guide your through that process. Here you will also get to see, touch and compare different doors, finishes and options.
The bottom floor is where all of the self serve shopping really begins! Once you get to the bottom of the stairs you will want to be grabbing a cart (or two) and load up! You will pass through sections like living room, bedroom, kids room, textiles, kitchen, bathroom and etc where you will see bins and shelves full of goodies for you to grab and go. My favorite sections are always the children section and the bedding textile wall... I usually have a hard time deciding on what to get and what to put back!
After you flow pass the self serve shopping section for the smaller items, you will get to the self serve shopping section for the larger pieces that you saw staged on the top floor. These would include some items like chairs, dressers, shelves and there is an associate there to help point you in the right direction or grab things on higher shelves for you. Some of the larger furniture pieces like Pax frames, larger armchairs and beds would be items you would get an order sheet for and pay first before an associate pulls it from out back for you.
6. Wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking about a kilometre from start to finish! You will also need good footwear to race fellow patrons to your favourite items before they run out of stock!
Up until now, the only other IKEA store I have been able to shop in-store is the one in Iceland and I can tell you that Jon is happy that I'm not going to pack IKEA goodies in our carry on anymore! We were able to pick up tons of things for our new home and certainly can't wait to share what we got with you all so stay tuned! Until then, I want to know what you are dying to get your hands on at IKEA and see all of your purchases so tag me in your IKEA hauls! I can't wait to see it all!