Inside IKEA: Centennial store taking shape
This week inside the unfinished store, the showroom displays and much of the merchandise are still draped in plastic wrap — room decor such as flat-screen televisions and board games are still in the packaging.
Construction workers and store employees bustle around marking final lines off to-do lists, including finishing the model homes and decorating the display rooms.
The 415,000-square-foot store is massive — only the store near Chicago is larger.
“It’s enormous. It’s humongous. It’s gargantuan,” said Kelly Frieze, store manager for IKEA Centennial.
- over 10,000 items.
- three complete model home interiors.
- 50 different model room settings.
- a supervised playground for children.
- a 550-seat restaurant.
The restaurant will serve American dishes, as well as Swedish fare such as salmon plates and the meatballs for which IKEA stores are famous.
“Meatballs are very traditionally Swedish,” Frieze said. “We have a very traditional Swedish recipe. We serve it with very traditional potatoes and lingonberries. They just taste great.”
“Great” is a word that the construction contractor also uses to describe the IKEA project.
Marcy Loughran, the marketing and communications manager for Saunders Construction, the company that managed the construction, described “a great owner, great project team, great sub-contractors, and a mild winter” in explaining why the project is ahead of schedule.
The project was originally slated to open in the fall, but everything came together to allow IKEA Centennial to open months early.
When the first customers walk through the doors, they will step into a store with a very non-traditional layout. Whereas in many stores customers can immediately go directly to the section they need, IKEA stores feature what is referred to as the “long natural path” that winds through the entirety of the store.
Frieze explained: “That’s just so that can’t miss any part of the experience of IKEA.”
Looking for retail close to IKEA? Check out Centennial Promenade right next door! For more information, contact: