Chileans rushed Wednesday to the brand-new Ikea store in Santiago, the first of the multinational conglomerate specialized in ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances, and home accessories.
The opening unleashed a frenzy as crowds waited outside the shopping mall in a northern Santiago upper-class area to visit the premises. Customers who had already registered with Ikea had priority, it was reported.
Once inside, people were greeted by a brass band, a cheerleader who informed them of the offers, and people giving directions and handing out bags with gifts.
I knew Ikea from when I traveled in Germany and I was fascinated from there, and they said they were going to open here and here I am, a pregnant woman who took advantage of the preferential treatment told reporters.
People had to wait for over three hours outside the premises to visit the store, it was reported.
From what I have seen are the same products and prices, I do not remember because the last time was in Italy about two years ago, but in general I think the products are quite reasonable for the quality and variety too, I was surprised, said another visitor who had been at Ikea stores elsewhere.
The truth is that they brought everything, I have seen it too fast, but I think they brought the whole line of products that they have in other countries. That surprised me quite a bit, he added.
The store has an exhibition area of more than 15,300 square meters, which, as in other countries, includes a children's area, a restaurant with typical Swedish food, and a market with Nordic food.
The expansion plan includes a second store in 2023 in Cerrillos, which will have 25,000 square meters and will have more than 260 points to collect electronic purchases.
According to the promoters of the Ikea project in Chile, this is a very important milestone for the company and the first step for a regional expansion that plans to open similar stores shortly in Colombia and Peru, with a mix of the recognizable Swedish style and relevant aspects of local cultures.
Started in Sweden in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea has been the world's largest furniture retailer since 2008
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