Ikea is finally in the Philippines, first store opens on Nov. 25


Photos by Juliana Maxine Vasquez

WHEN you visit IKEA’s first Philippine store at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, be sure to wear comfortable shoes because you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. The country’s first IKEA store occupies five floors and covers an area of 68,000 square meters. That’s the equivalent of 150 basketball floors.

Two of the floors serve as IKEA’s warehouse while the three house the showroom with different rooms, a design studio and the marketplace. There’s also a café, bistro and restaurant where you can enjoy IKEA’s famous meatballs. 

The world’s biggest IKEA opens November 25, Thursday, and here’s the first thing you should remember: You don’t just go there and walk in. You need to make an appointment to shop. To do that, go to www.IKEA.com. One booking can be up to four people, including yourself.

Once you get there, you won’t get lost. Just follow the white arrows on the floor and you’ll be okay. It will be a long trek but one that you’ll enjoy especially if it’s your first time at an IKEA store.

The showrooms are designed with small spaces in mind. There’s even one room that’s been designed for a single lady living in a studio in an old place. There’s a room for a single male gamer and another one for an artist. Of course, there are many rooms designed for kids, all using IKEA’s furniture, decor, and many useful and practical items.

For its first store in the Philippines, IKEA has incorporated some Filipino details—such as capiz doors and windows and Spanish tiles—in some of the rooms. These rooms are meant to provide inspiration on what you can buy to spruce up your home and improve your way of living.

IKEA is a brand that started in Sweden in 1958. It is known for its modern designs in appliances, furniture and goods for the home. 

So here are some tips and tricks for when you finally get to visit the IKEA store in Pasay City:

You need to walk through the showroom before you get to the really fun part—the marketplace where all the goods are in. They are divided according to rooms. For instance, one area is devoted to coffee stuff alone. There’s a battery-operated milk frother there for P50. The marketplace has sections for the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, garden, and so on. 

If they run out of carts at the entrance, no worries. There’s an abundance of carts at the marketplace. Having a cart while touring the rooms is just an encumbrance. 

Make a list and check it twice or thrice. There’s a section where no item is priced at more than P100 so things can get overwhelming. This is particularly true when you get to the self-serve furniture area where you can find water bottles for P50 each, IKEA branded towels and shirts, and many other stuff.

Expect long lines at the bistro, which serves the famous IKEA meatballs, but don’t fret because you can find the meatballs (Köttbullar) in the frozen section of the food market. If you don’t eat pork and/or beef, you can try the chicken meatballs (Kycklingköttbullar), the vegetable balls (Grönsaksbullar) or the plant balls (Huvodroll). You can serve the frozen balls at home (you can pop them in the oven or the microwave) and plate them with mashed potatoes, blanched vegetables and the lingonberry jam (Sylt Lingon) which IKEA also sellsn While there is scheduling when it comes to store visits, you can take your time once you’re there. There is no time limit for your visit to the IKEA store. You can stay as long as you want so use that time to explore and enjoy the showroom and look at all the merchandise carefully. 

You can start your Christmas shopping at IKEA. The Knolig coin purse with chain is only P50 and so are many of their mugs, cups, plates, and even bowls. 

If you like something from one of the showrooms, take a photo of the product tag. When you get to the self-serve area and go to the row number where the product is located.

Here are some of my best buys from IKEA: bed sheets, towels and frying pans. Another good find was Glis, a set of three stackable boxes with lids for P150. These boxes are great for storing odds and ends like hair ties and stickers. If you’re a K-pop fan, you can also use these to store photo cards.

IKEA espouses sustainability so many of their products contain sustainable and recycled materials. For example, IKEA works with the Forest Stewardship Council to take care of the world’s forests through responsible forest management. This is because wood is the material most closely associated with IKEA and wood comes from trees. IKEA’s LED light bulbs also use 85 percent less energy and last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

IKEA Pasay City is at Marina Way, Mall of Asia Complex alongside Entertainment City. The store will be open from 10 am to 10 pm.

Image courtesy of Juliana Maxine Vasquez

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