IKEA Miami opens tomorrow at 9 a.m. sharp, and already people have set up camp in an attempt to be among the first 2,500 people in line for some pretty fantastic giveaways, including free sofas to the first 39 people to walk through the door, armchairs for the next 100, and $10-to-$250 gift cards for the first 2,500 people in line.
In addition to the giveaways, IKEA is offering buy-one-get-one-free deals on hot dogs, frozen yogurt, and cinnamon buns, while supplies last.
Selwyn Crittendon, IKEA Miami's store manager, expects the line to grow exponentially as the day ends. "You get more people after work, but we're prepared. It's been a long time coming, and I look forward to greeting everyone come tomorrow morning." The store has set up bathroom trailers with running water and designated smoking areas to make overnighters comfortable.
NBC Miami reports that more than a dozen people have pitched tents and beach chairs by the furniture giant's 416,000-square-foot store in the hopes of getting one of the coveted prizes. At least one thing is for sure: These early birds have snagged one of the 1,500 parking spots -- something that will probably be a hot commodity come sunrise Wednesday.
IKEA Miami, the largest in Florida, will feature more than 10,000 items. In addition to Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas, the store is a foodie's dream with all manner of ways to deck out a home, from paper cocktail napkins to a complete custom kitchen. And, of course, you can make your IKEA hacks.
If shopping leaves you hungry, IKEA has a plethora of options to sate your stomach. The 600-seat in-store restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Opening 30 minutes before the store, the restaurant offers a bacon-and-egg breakfast for 99 cents.
A bistro near checkout sells hot dogs, cinnamon buns, and frozen yogurt (out of the coolest machine known to mankind), and the Swedish food market allows you to pick up smoked salmon, lingonberry preserves, and frozen Swedish meatballs for your home smorgasbord. Crittendon says the food market is one of his favorite parts of the store. "It's sort of a well-known secret. If you're looking for everything from salmon paste to coffee, we have it. You can get everything from crayfish to desserts. Don't get me started on the desserts."
Opening day is sure to be a scene, to put it mildly, with tens of thousands of shoppers attempting to Instagram to their friends and co-workers that they were there. But few are aware that the festivities (and freebies) last all week -- with Friday being the premium day for food lovers.
Beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, August 28, the first 39 people in line will receive a free Sultan queen mattress ($299 value). The next 100 people in line will receive $59 toward the cost of home delivery, which must be set up that day.
At 9 a.m. Friday, August 29, the first 39 people in line will receive meatballs for a year! The offer is good for a 15-meatball plate for up to four guests (no substitutions) per week for 52 weeks. Winners will receive 52 coupons that can be redeemed only at IKEA Miami.
The next 100 people in line will receive a tote bag, complete with a voucher to fill the bag with items at the Swedish food market. I asked our friendly store manager if I could fill the bag with anything I liked, and he said yes -- as long as it's in the food market (meaning don't try to stuff a sofa into the tote). "If you want to take a whole bag of only smoked salmon home that day, your wish is our command."
In addition, the first 305 people will receive a free frozen yogurt, and all kids 12 and younger will receive a free kids' combo meal ($2.49 value) from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
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If you're planning on experiencing IKEA madness this week, the store has issued some rules. Here are some important highlights:
- You must be at least 18 years old. Proof of age may be required.
- You must be in line by 9 a.m. of the corresponding day of the giveaway. For Wednesday giveaways: line-up started at 9 a.m. For Thursday and Friday giveaways: line-up starts at 6 a.m. on same day.
- You must stay on the IKEA premises at all times. The only times you are permitted to leave the line-up area are for a 10-minute bathroom or smoking break.
- Smoking is not permitted in the line-up area. If you need to smoke, you will be permitted to leave the line to visit the designated smoking area for 10 minutes.
- You must stay in the general area of the line up at all times; "line-saving" will not be tolerated.
- Your family/friends may visit you or bring you food/supplies while you are waiting in line, but you may not leave and come back.
- You may not sleep in your car.
- No obscenities, alcohol, weapons, violence, or drugs of any sort will be tolerated.
- No barbecue equipment, open flames, or electric heaters allowed.
- Sleeping bags, lounge chairs and folding chairs are acceptable; however, all items must be returned to your car by 7 a.m. Participants can return personal items to their cars at that time.
- Participants will be required to sign a liability and publicity release.
- Participants are not permitted to advertise any other business while on IKEA property. This includes wearing clothing or otherwise displaying the logo of another business or receiving free food/products from other businesses.