A new IKEA store is opening in the heart of Birmingham city centre on Thursday – and we’ve had a look round .
It’s only the third of a new kind of Order and Collection Point store to open in the UK and the first to open in a city centre.
It is much bigger than you might expect from a collection point, with room sets to give you ideas plus a cafe.
Here’s all you need to know.
Where is it?
In Dale End, where the Toys R Us store used to be. The building has been empty for a decade.
The store has already brightened up a neglected area of town – it’s opposite the empty Hummingbird/Ballroom nightclub.
How does it work?
Use the computer screens to see what’s available, then order and pay.
If you order before 10.30am, the item will be ready for you by 5.30pm - and the store is open until 8pm on weeknights.
If you order after then and before 5pm, it will be ready by 11.30am the next morning.
Pick up at the collection point at the back of the store on Albert Street. There are six to eight car parking spaces here, with a security guard to make sure they’re not pinched by non-IKEA shoppers.
You are given a code and a suitable time. Use the code to open a locker where your item has been securely stored.
Larger items like furniture will be brought out for you from the loading bay.
What is new about this store?
There is new technology in the many hi-tech screens which allow shoppers to both access all the IKEA stock and plan big purchases like kitchens.
There is even a special camera to take a picture of your choice of kitchen handles, doors and work surfaces – a mood board you can take home with you.
The street food cafe is a new concept for IKEA that’s somewhere between their in-store restaurant and the bistro you get at the exits.
What are the highlights?
The room sets are attractive and give you lots of ideas on what to do with your kitchen, bedroom and living room.
They range from aspirational ‘wow’ rooms to a mock-up of a budget living area specifically for a single parent with two children.
The street food cafe is a light and airy place to hang out and drink coffee for as little as 50p with an IKEA Family Card. Plus there’s the meatballs, of course. You can eat the Kottbullar (traditional pork and beef, chicken and veggie) in the cafe or take home a frozen bag.
There’s also a small Market Place to buy items and take them home there and then, from plants, pots and pans to lamps, duvet sets, glasses and towels.
Were jobs created?
There are 46 new jobs for Brummies, with a third of the staff having been unemployed.
The manager is Dawn Lloyd, who has worked at IKEA Wednesbury for 18 years.
When does it open?
On Thursday, August 18 at 8am. There’s not much point getting there really early though, as there will be no special offers or giveaways.