Coventry's new Ikea store opens tomorrow. The local news has been full of scare stories about how the traffic to the store will throttle the ring road and bring the city to a standstill. As a countermeasure, the council has set up signed diversions especially for Ikea traffic.
The shop was actually open this morning, although only to 'Ikea Family Card' holders. We had received a letter telling us about this sneak preview and a voucher for free delivery if we spent over £150, so we went along to see what the shop was like and to pick up some furniture for the front room (which we are in the middle of decorating).
There were a lot of security guards and crowd control barriers outside the shop, but a surprising lack of people. The shop was fairly quiet inside too. Apparently it's the tallest Ikea in europe, according to the announcement we heard on the instore 'radio' while we were in the restaurant. One advantage of this height is the view - you can see a lot of Coventry from there.
We managed to buy enough furniture to qualify for the free delivery. Everything arrived this afternoon, just as we were about to resume stripping the wallpaper in the front room. Our hallway is now full of rolls of carpet and flat-packs of furniture.
There were predictions of around 15,000 visitors to the store today, but I don't think they will have had anything like that many. They are expecting 20,000 tomorrow for the Grand Opening. There are 'Gift Cards' for the first 500 in the queue, and plenty of special offers and price reductions, so I expect there will be quite a few people lining up outside when the shop opens.