IKEA has landed

HOLY MEATBALLS WINNIPEG! Ladies and gentlemen, grab your FÖRNUFT (forks) and SNITTA (knives) because IKEA is ready for your business.

The North End Blog was graciously invited to the IKEA Winnipeg media night on November 26, where the new 395,671 sq.ft building was unveiled to media outlets. After years of speculation and denial from both sides, IKEA will open to the public on Wednesday November 28, 2012. North End Blog walked the entire 1.3km to bring you your first look at the Swedish company’s Winnipeg location.

The night started off with a cocktail reception in the stores (and North America’s) largest-seated restaurant (an impressive 651 seats), to gab with local media. Following the schmooze-fest, attendees were let loose in the store to shop and experience the displays and merchandise for sale…. 99 cent pot scrubbers, anyone?!

From bedding to bath accessories, candles, wall art and furniture, our new store has a lot to offer. The best part… the prices are the same if you visited the Minneapolis location. The downside is that if, for example, you want to build a kitchen… the price listed for cabinets may be $300, but it’s going to cost you more because you have to buy the knobs, shelves, etc. If you’ve shopped at IKEA, you already know this.

When I was on my own, IKEA helped furnish my apartment. While it wasn’t entirely IKEA items (the furniture was locally made), the little knickknacks, accessories and textiles made my little place warm and inviting and it was affordable.

I’m also not going to list all the pros and cons of the store. I want you to experience it and develop your own opinions. I just happen to love IKEA and in no way do I want it to influence your opinion.

I’d like to thank IKEA for the invite. It was a great night and I’m very impressed. I am certain that many North Enders will be out to explore the store themselves… I’ll be back again once the allen keys have settled.

Fun fact: IKEA Winnipeg store manager Stephen Bobko is a former North Ender! He was thrilled that his former stomping grounds was included in the invite. He is hoping that the fine folks of the North End will take the time to make their way down to the new store and browse. Even if you don’t spend your money there, he would like you to come and check it out.

Check out the photos from the visit.

Note: Since last night there was a big thing about attending the event and media/journalism ethics. While I was not paid to attend, I did receive a 15% discount and a gift bag at the end of the night. The gift bag and discount did not influence my review of the store, nor was it an incentive. I was just happy to be one of the first people inside the store before it opens tomorrow. It is also your decision whether or not you visit IKEA once it opens November 28. If you want to support local, by all means. I too support local, but I also like having options. North End Blog likes to bring you options so you can decide what is best for you and your family. It was a fun night and event to attend.

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